I thought Yangebori would be an “intermediate” kaiseki meal, sandwiched between the rustic Takasebune and revered Hyotei reservations. Yagenbori is billed as a cheaper alternative to the Kikunoi and Hyotei’s – a concept that reduces cost by eliminating, or down-scaling, the expensive pottery, geisha-like servers, and high-end ingredients that most customers (re: tourists?) won’t necessarily appreciate.1 There are obviously ritual and symbolic components that would be sacrificed with this approach (that, admittedly, would probably fly over my head anyways); but, based on the food itself, I thought this could be a very solid meal given Kyoto’s food reputation.
Sometimes, I am shocked by my naivety.
This meal was not as good as the previous day’s kaiseki meal at Takasebune. It wasn’t a bad meal, and it probably wasn’t over-priced at $100/pp, but the terrible sashimi course hung over me like a very dark cloud for the remainder of the meal.