Kushikatsu is a popular and traditional Japanese dish comprised of battered and deep fried foods (“katsu”) served on skewers (“kushi”).
I stumbled across a restaurant, Copain, that specializes in Kushikatsu in Kyoto while I was walking along the same alley where I enjoyed the best sushi of my life the night before.
After taking a peek inside to make sure there were other people dining there, I walked in and took a seat at the counter facing the kitchen.
I was becoming accustomed to sitting in front of the chefs while they work in their open kitchens, and I kind of liked it, especially since I was mostly eating alone during my time in Japan.
I ordered the 12-piece omakase course (chef's selection).
The total cost for this option was 3,150 Yen ($38), and I had a feeling it'd be money well spent to discover a new style of Japanese cuisine.
Before we got started, I also ordered a Suntory draft beer.
The chef nearest to me presented a plate with chopsticks and four dipping sauces.
Each time a course would be given, the chef would advise me which sauce would compliment it best.
[Editor's Note: Unfortunately, I lost my detailed notes of the ingredients comprising each course, so I can only offer a general recollection.]
The first course was a glass of tea, which was followed by a giant prawn, and a simple yet colorful salad of cabbage and tomatoes.
This was followed by 5 Kushikatsu featuring various ingredients.
The central element was deep-fried, however, there was almost always a sauce or secondary element on top as well, plus the various dipping sauces.
Tofu soup was course number 9, followed by three more breaded delights.
You might think a 12-course meal of deep fried food bits is a little unhealthy, however, the sign outside the restaurant explaining the cuisine also indicated that they have a healthier house batter in use.
I remember it tasting light, for whatever that was worth to my cardio system at the time.
Upon finishing my last course, I noticed a guy across the counter from me was being served up an exceptionally good-looking course.
I asked the chef about it, and he said it was a [blank] topped with foie gras.
I knew I had to have it, and ordered one for myself.
It turned out to be one of the most picturesque courses, as well as one of my favorites from a flavor perspective.
To see photos of every course, watch the slideshow below. Bon appetite!
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
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Andrea and John
Tuesday 19th of April 2011
Yum! This meal looks incredible - I think I'm looking forward to the food in Japan more than anything else
Tuesday 19th of April 2011
Glad you enjoyed the food photos. I knew I was going to enjoy sushi in Japan, but there were so many other foods I discovered as well. I've got one more multi-course meal from Kyoto which I'll share in the next few weeks!