Kawamura Shokudo, a small Western-style restaurant in Nishijin, Kyoto, located in a deep area where only locals pass through, seems to be quite popular these days. The owner of the restaurant, who trained at a hotel, established the restaurant in November 2012. The location is so deep that some blogs refer to it as a “hard-to-find restaurant that does not even show up on Google Maps” (Note: Nowadays, it usually shows up in a search).
What kind of food does such a deep Western-style restaurant serve? I was curious, so I visited Kawamura Shokudo on a Saturday before the restaurant opened. I decided to check out the restaurant, including the word-of-mouth that “even Google Maps doesn’t give it a shot”…
Kawamura Shokudo, a popular restaurant in Nishijin, Kyoto, is a tiny little Western-style restaurant in a renovated three-story house.
Kawamura Shokudo is located on Ogawa-dori, a small street on the east side of Horikawa-dori, a little further into the city. This area is close to the east end of Nishijin, and is not a tourist area where you can enjoy the atmosphere of the old days, but a genuine residential area. Nowadays, Google Maps shows the correct location, so you will not get lost if you have a smartphone, but I felt “I surely can’t find this place without a map”.
Walking along Ogawa Dori, you will see a small signboard like this. This is the entrance to Kawamura Shokudo, and if you walk eastward down a narrow alley from here, you will find the restaurant on the first floor of a three-story private house.
I arrived at the restaurant at around 11:00, 30 minutes before opening time. I got the pole position safely and sat down on one of the six log chairs in the alley to wait until the store opened. They opened the store 10 minutes before the opening time that day, and there were 7 customers in the store at the time of opening, including me. Apparently, if I could arrive by this time, I would be able to enter the store on the first round. Also, by the time I left the restaurant, there was a sign-in sheet in front of the restaurant, so even if the restaurant was full and I could not enter, I would not have to wait in a long line.
The interior of the restaurant was decorated in a pop style with yellow painted walls and wood, and the floor was run by a woman who appeared to be the owner’s wife and a young part-timer. Kawamura Shokudo seats 10 customers, but it must have been remodeled since then…now half of the second floor is also used for seating, with five tables for two to four people on the first floor and two tables for four people on the second floor. The space is quite cozy, so it would be better to limit the number of guests to four or less, even if it is for a group of friends. Also, they seem to be willing to accept people with small children, but they do not seem to provide high chairs for children, so you may have a little difficulty in that area.
Hamburger steak, fried prawns, and rice omelet: Kawamura Shokudo’s sumptuous lunch featuring three major Western-style dishes on one plate…how does it taste?
Let me introduce the hamburger steak, fried prawns, and rice omelet that I ordered at Kawamura Shokudo (priced at 2,200 yen including tax). First of all, about 15 minutes after ordering, a cup of soup was brought in front of me to calm my starving stomach and throat…
The contents of the jar that came out together with the soup is a homemade dressing for salads, with a thick, fruity-sweet taste like yogurt. With this, even those who don’t like vegetables can eat it like dessert… I think.
And a few minutes later, the long-awaited hamburger steak, fried shrimp & omelette appeared in one plate in front of us…
A genco-shaped hamburger steak with plenty of demi-glace sauce, two medium-sized fried prawns, and a spindle-shaped omelette lying in the background… Who in the world cannot see these three major Western-style dishes on a single plate and not be aroused to appetite? I wonder if there is anyone in this world who cannot be aroused by the sight of these three major Western dishes on a single plate?
Well, which of the three should I start with… After thinking about it for a while, I decided to start with fried prawns this time. I could not tell from the appearance of this fried shrimp, but I was surprised at how thick and plump the shrimp were. I was also impressed by the sweet tartar sauce on it. It seemed like a flavor that kids would like a lot.
The omelette lying under the fried prawns had a thick egg shell and was filled with ketchup rice with chicken inside, which is an orthodox type. The ketchup rice is not sticky and melts in your mouth, and the buttery aroma wafts into your nose along with the sourness of the tomatoes on your tongue.
The hamburger steak is a hard type, and when you poke it with chopsticks, you can feel its hardness. It is not as hard as the hamburger steaks at Meat & Western Cuisine Otake, but the texture of the hamburger steaks suggests that it is quite filling despite its small size.
As soon as I put my chopsticks into the hard hamburger steak, unexpectedly, juices came out from the side of the chopsticks… This was unexpected and dangerous. If I had been bad, the juices would have come out with such force that I would have soiled my clothes. If you ever order a hamburger steak at Kawamura Shokudo, you might want to be a little careful not to stain your precious clothes.
As for the taste of the hamburger steak, the minced A5-rank Saga beef and Yamagata pork has a coarse, lumpy texture, and you can fully enjoy its meaty flavor with juices seeping out from between the minced beef and pork. In order to produce this meaty texture, the minced meat is made from chunks of meat, just like at Grill Demi, a popular restaurant in Marutamachi, where the minced meat is made into hamburger patties. The amount of the binder is also kept to a minimum, so you can enjoy the flavor of high quality beef and pork as close to its original form as possible.
The demi-glace sauce that is poured generously on top of the beef has a texture that allows you to feel the presence of the vegetables that have been melted into the sauce, and it has a rich taste with the flavor of the beef tenderloin meat that has been stewed together with the vegetables. The texture of the sauce alone seems to convey the time and effort that went into slow-cooking it over a long period of time. On the other hand, there is almost no wine flavor or bitterness, making it a sauce that would be acceptable to a wide range of people, including children. This sauce itself is of high quality and delicious, but I personally felt that there was a bit of a gap between it and the rather wild hamburger steak.
Kawamura Shokudo’s luxurious lunch of hamburger steak, fried prawns, and omelette rice like this, with the overall setting of a sweeter seasoning, seemed to be especially pleasing to women and children. On the other hand, it might be insufficient for men. From a man’s perspective, for a 2,200 yen lunch, I would have liked a little more volume…I guess.
One more thing that bothered me was the time it took for the food to be prepared. I got the pole position this time, and it took about 20 minutes from the time I ordered to the time my dish was ready. You can imagine how long it would take for the second, third, and subsequent orders, can’t you? Probably, the owner alone is working hard in the kitchen to cook and serve the dishes. Therefore, when having lunch at Kawamura Shokudo, it would be better to allow a reasonable amount of time for your visit.
Examples of other menu items at Kawamura Shokudo (prices include tax)
- Children’s hamburger steak: 1,100 yen
- Tomato omelet rice 1,200 yen
- Fried shrimp with 3 prawns: 1,450 yen
- Hamburger steak & fried shrimp & cream croquette 1850yen
- Onitama hamburger steak 1,500 yen
- Cheese hamburger steak 1,700 yen
- Luxury hamburger steak 1800 yen
In addition, there was also a whimsical lunch plate…
Lunch box take-out available…Access to Kawamura Shokudo is a 7-minute walk from Imadegawa Station on the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line, the closest station to the restaurant.7分
Kawamura Shokudo also offers take-out bento boxes. The menu contents are different from the eat-in menu, and moreover, if you want to take out a boxed lunch, you can use it during the evening hours. With bento, you can make reservations in advance by phone and the waiting time will be minimal, so it would be wise to use the bento take-out option, especially when you don’t have much time. Why not consider using take-out, especially if you live near the restaurant?
Now, here are the details of the store. Check here for store data…
Kawamura Shokudo Out of 5.
Address: 499-23 Utsuboya-cho, Motomachi, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-0942, Japan
Phone number: 075-200-5578
Business hours: 11:30-14:30
Closed: Sundays (temporary closure, check the restaurant’s Instagram)
Parking：No parking (use coin parking nearby)
Credit card payment: Accepted (also accepts electronic money and transportation system IC)
If you are coming from JR Kyoto Station, take Kyoto City Bus No. 9 bound for Nishikamo Shako-mae and get off at Ichijo Mukoribashi/Harumyo-jinja-mae bus stop, then walk 4 minutes.
P.S. If you are looking for delicious western-style restaulant in Kyoto, please drop by the article below…