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Menami, Kyoto

Kiyamachi, Sanjo-agaru
Japan 604-8004
Tel: 81 75 231 1095's insider take:

When you tire of ritualized kaiseki dinners, and of watching your mouth and manners in perplexing Japanese restaurants, this is the place to kick back and down a few beers or sakes. Menami's "home-style" obanzai cooking is rooted firmly in Japan, but the ever-morphing menu comfortably country-hops (try the Vietnamese-style spring rolls stuffed with pork, bamboo shoots and onions, or sansho-spiced lamb chops that would be at home in Greece). Many of the offerings are displayed on the countertop, which makes ordering easy. Make a reservation, for Menami has only a tiny counter, a few tables on a raised tatami platform, and a cozy booth near the door. If you like the ceramics on which meals are served, ask about Menami's sister pottery shop.

Open Mondays through Saturdays for dinner only.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.