Kyoto’s Hidden Restaurant “Hiyoko”: Meet Granny Serving Amazing Omurice (Omelet + Rice)
Kuramaguchi of Kyoto is a great sightseeing spot off the beaten path and it has the historic Funaoka Onsen hot spring and Kenkun-jinja shrine. There are stores in the surrounding area, and I heard one of them is a restaurant offering Kyoto-style home cooking dishes, and surprisingly, it is run by an energetic granny in her 70s which is what intrigued me to visit right away.
Quietly Nestled Simplistic Storefront
Here I came to Kuramaguchi, and standing in front of the restaurant “Hiyoko (chicks)”. This is the restaurant run by a grandma. The storefront is in a simple whitish design but it stands out with distinctive large windows. On sunny days sunshine comes through the windows and wraps the interior in a warm atmosphere.
Old-Fashioned Décor in the Store
Many old novels are placed in the store and visitors can read them, too. There are also many books about the human body, and we can see people of this restaurant care about health. Chairs are available in the area with books, and it might be interesting to skim through various books. Of course there are travel guides, too.
Menu is all handwritten and fills our hearts with warm feeling
If you don’t read Japanese language, rest assured as it comes with photos. I heard the grandma is studying English these days, so please talk to her slowly in English. I am sure you can have a pleasant conversation, which will be a good memory of your trip.
The signboard out in the front shows the menu in English. Wow, look at the result of grandma’s study! Well done! I would like to emulate her studious spirit that is still going strong at her age.
Omelet Rice “Omurice” That Is Somewhat Nostalgic but New
After I looked around the interior of the store briefly, I immediately ordered the signature menu of omurice (omelet with rice). Whoa, how perfectly fluffy the egg was! I had expected to see a typical homemade type with eggs fried flat and hard, but this omurice was visually pleasing and stylish, too.
The eggs were truly creamy. They must be cooked with exquisitely controlled fire. This “fluffy creamy” level might beat the same dish served at many professional restaurants specialized in western food arranged in Japanese style.
You can choose either brown rice or white rice to be filled in the omurice. I appreciated this thoughtful option. I opted for brown rice for its health benefits for the day, and I didn’t at all notice the distinctive feeling of brown rice! The rice was cooked very tender.
And the essential seasoning was mainly ketchup, perfectly compatible with eggs. This omurice offered different type of deliciousness from currently-vogue omurice with demi-glace sauce, and I pumped my spoon for more and more.
The set consisted of a salad, a small bowl of vegetables, and miso soup. All of them were hand-made and had gentle tastes.
This is the Basic Food of Japanese! Onigiri Set
Well, rice is referred to be the staple in the diet of the Japanese. Many Japanese feel happier with onigiri rice balls than with a bowlful of white rice. I am one of those people and I couldn’t resist the word of “Onigiri Set” on the menu and ended up ordering it.
And here came the Onigiri Set for 600 yen.
It’s a pretty hearty serving and perfect for the appetite of one female. Even for this onigiri, you can select the rice between white and brown.
It’s got the feeling of “Mom just made it!” all over and looks so appetizing. I somehow felt like dropping by at my parents’ house all of a sudden. For the ingredients inside, you can choose from three kinds, but they change day by day. Please ask what are offered first.
In addition I heard a buffet with granny’s home-made dishes is available on weekends and holidays. If you would like to fill you up on home-made cooking, this is great news, too.
From Local Residents to Tourists
While I was enjoying the meal, the store was crowded with various customers from groups of apparently local residents to tourists from other countries. The grandma was enthusiastic about her business and declared “I’m gonna hold my frying pan to the day I die”. Her smile was very cute and most impressive.
Address: 71-28 Minami-funaoka-cho, Kita-ku Murasakino, Kyoto City Kyoto Prefecture
Open: 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM
Closed on Mondays
“Hiyoko” is a restaurant that generously allows you to dine without time restrictions such as lunch time. There are many stylish cafés in Kyoto, but it may also be cool to enjoy Japanese home cooking at “Hiyoko”, after taking a nice break at Funaoka Onsen hot spring.