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Review: Mizuki at Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto (Sushi & Tempura)
I was in Kyoto during my birthday, and I celebrated it by staying at Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto for 5 nights. I figured a fancy hotel should be accompanied by fancy meals too. I didn’t do much fancy dining in Japan and was happy eating street food, trying out random restaurants I ran across, and enjoying convenience store food when I’m feeling lazy.
A week before my birthday, I had a fancy teppanyaki at the Conrad Osaka, but I’ve never tried a Michelin-starred restaurant before. So I figured why not give one a try? Luckily, there’s one inside the Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto where the reservation is easy.
How to Book A Reservation at Mizuki at Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Reservations can be easily be booked online through TableCheck. Mizuki at Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto has 4 separate restaurants in one place:
The restaurant’s Tempura section is awarded one Michelin star. I’ve booked two reservations for sushi for lunch, and the tempura for dinner.
Marriott Bonvoy members can earn points while dining on restaurants inside Marriott hotels even without staying there. Simply present your membership QR code on the Marriott Bonvoy app to the staff. Non-staying guests can earn 5 points, plus their elite status bonus, per dollar spent on total bill. Staying guests receive the full amount of 10 points per dollar.
For sushi lunch, I had the Shion menu that costed 15,160 Yen, but I was able to get it on 12,000 Yen when they ran a promotion on TableCheck.
The rate included this sparkling red plum drink that was sweet and sour. I really enjoyed it.
The chef then presented the ingredients of the day, and even provided a picture of the different types of fish that may be served.
I started off with a cold tofu appetizer.
Then, the chef individually serves each sushi piece while I tried my best to pay attention on how he made them. I was impressed with how delicate the chef handles each piece with care. They were all very delicious, though I couldn’t recall anything that stood out.
I came back to the Ritz-Carlton again in the evening to finally try out Mizuki’s Michelin-starred tempura restaurant. There were only 8 seats at the tempura counter, so the setting was more intimate than the rest.
I had the Roka menu, which costed 30,360 Yen, and it was the most expensive set of Mizuki Tempura.
The appetizer served was similar to the sushi restaurant, except that this one was a sweet corn tofu. It was quite nice.
These are the main raw ingredients for the Roka menu.
What I learned about a more proper way to eat tempura was that salt is a very important condiment that I never knew of. At least, more than the tempura sauce. The chef would recommend you which of these deep ocean salt each piece would go well with.
First up was the shrimp. It was alive when the chef presented it, so it was very fresh. The head was fried first with very light batter that can’t really be seen.
The shrimp was very lightly battered as well. Definitely different than the tempura I knew, which tend to be heavy on the batter.
The sweet corn was undoubtedly one of the best servings on the menu. The chef recommended to eat one of the pieces with sea salt, and the other without. The salty and sweet combo was simply heaven!
Salmon wrapped in leaves was good. I put lime in one of the pieces to enhance the flavor.
The Jalapeno pepper was alright. If I had to pick my least favorite, it’d have to be this one.
The omi wagyu was nice with wasabi.
Scallop with caviar was one of the fanciest dish served.
The eggplant was alright, but it was better than the jalapeno pepper.
The tempura fish was nice as well, but I forgot to recall what type of fish it exactly was.
The tempura onion ranked #2 on the vegetables tempura category.
The rice bowl is included in the menu, in which I could pick between three options. The other choices were rice bowl with shrimp tempura, and the other vegetarian. I chose the half boiled egg with caviar as it seemed to be the most interesting option, and I’m glad I chose it! The presentation was very fancy.
It was my first time devouring gold flakes. It tasted like nothing. But, look at the striking orange yolk oozing! The egg complemented the rice very well!
Red miso soup helped balance the palate after eating great fried food.
When dessert came, the waiter showered me with rose petals with other guests then clapped after they found out that I was there for my birthday. The dessert was the same as I had at lunch, but still, what a very nice way to end dinner!
I had a great experience dining at Mizuki in Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. The sushi was very nice, but I felt there was anything that stood out. I had comparable sushi at Monbetsu, Hokkaido for a fraction of the price. Although, seeing how a master chef prepares sushi is always a cool experience.
The tempura restaurant was the better part of Mizuki, and it was awesome to try out a Michelin-starred restaurant for the first time! This place caused me to look at tempura differently than before, especially with the strong emphasis on light batter and let the ingredients speak for themselves.
Mizuki was an excellent introduction to Japanese fine-dining, and I’m curious to sample more of them when I return back to Japan.