Forget gimmicks like conveyor belts and colour-coded plates, miniature plastic fish filled with soy sauce and California rolls – if it’s authentic sushi and high-quality Japanese food you crave, you need to head to Withington and the family-run Kyotoya restaurant.
Lucky red lanterns and signage point you in to the tiny space, containing barely more than nine tables in warm wood to match the handcrafted wooden model boats the multiple-piece mixed sushi options make their way to the customer in. These “platters” are laden with a precious cargo of nigiri, maki and sashimi, the latter featuring super-fresh thinly sliced melt-in-the-mouth raw salmon and tuna.
The black lacquered bento boxes are another favourite, with lots of choice, from chicken or vegetable gyoza dumplings and shichimi tofu or beef to teriyaki salmon or pork katsu. There are also oodles of noodles – yaki soba and udon, ramen soup a-go-go –plus tempura, donburi rice bowls and itame stir-fries served on a sizzling plate. Beers include Kirin, Sapporo, Asahi and Tsingdao, or there’s wine, sake or Japanese green tea.
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