If you are a matcha lover, you cannot leave Kyoto without visiting Uji, not only famous for their temples, but also green tea!
When you search “Nakamura Tokichi” on google, there will be various stores within Uji. But we particularly made sure we went to the restaurant off the main street on the way to Byodoin Temple. We were 110% match’d out! You’ll know what I mean when you see the photos!
We arrived super early at 10am (before they opened) because we heard that there’s always a line and the most popular dishes sell out quick! It was the best decision we made… Because we were the first ones to arrive, we were seated by the window looking over the canal. We were given the Nakamura tea, it was quite light and refreshing.
I ordered their matcha float. A bit pricey, but it’s perfect for a 25 degree day and sizeable. Although they say it’s sweetened, but it’s actually not very sweet.
J ordered the Koicha [Uji no Mukashi], it’s the thickest matcha that I’ve ever seen. We tried flipping the bowl upside down and it slowly runs down to the rims. You’re meant to drink it like a bowl and it comes with two small pieces of firm jelly. They were a delight and the Koicha was a little bitter for me. J enjoyed it. We were given english instructions about how to drink it. As the Koicha cools, the consistency thickens. Once the Koicha becomes super thick, we can ask the staff to add some hot water to the Koicha so that the drink becomes easier to finish. We found it quite fun to drink…
I picked the Kitsune Matcha Buckwheat Noodles as my main. It had two peices of tofu skin with a couple of radish on the side. The soup base was a little peppery with the spring onion taste. But the broth was light enough to taste the matcha buckwheat noodles. After finishing this main, I was very full.
J ordered Nishin Matcha Buckwheat Noodles set which is only available between October to March (Autumn and Winter only) – perhaps it’s because of the salmon? The salmon was marinated giving the soup extra flavour. No bones were found. It came with rice, radish and a small serve of the matcha jelly. Both the Buckwheat noodles were cooked in medium to hard texture which is exactly how I like my noodles. Perfect.
This Bracken Starch Mochi is the best out of all the dishes we tried at Nakamura Tokichi. Limited availability served with matcha and black sugar syrup. The mochi was so soft that I felt like I was going to tear the mochi apart when picking it up with chopsticks. Heavily dusted with matcha, we dipped it with black sugar syrup first. Matcha flavours weren’t bitter at all, and the mochi simply melts in my mouth… the black sugar syrup was good for those who aren’t a sweet tooth, it brings a little bitterness to the dish. Whereas the matcha syrup was sweet and we found it enhanced the matcha flavours very well with the mochi. I’d dip it with matcha syrup. 🙂
It’s delicious… no wonder there’s limited availability…
Tea Jelly Matcha is a dish I’ve seen in Melbourne so it wasn’t too foreign to us. The matcha jelly had a bit of bitterness to it whereas the other components of the dish were sweeter. I really like their combination. The photo in the menu looked like it came with two mochis, but it turns out to be two scoops of matcha ice-creams, oh well, it’s no loss to me :). On the side is azuki (red bean) and glutinous balls. Another refreshing dessert.
Here’s a photo of the dessert and drinks ordered!
We actually got our mains, before the entree, dessert and drinks, so if you want to have your meals in a specific order, you might want to tell the staff at the time of order. We didn’t really care too much because the dishes weren’t too sweet to have a sweet dish for breakfast 🙂
As you can tell, i’m a big fan of this restaurant but the only thing I have to say is to make sure you don’t get carried away and order more than you wish to pay for… Our bill totalled to $70 AUD for the two of us. To be fair, we planned for a brunch session full of matcha so it was our breakfast + lunch.
I got a matcha-coma afterwards …
Location: Nakamura Tokichi Byodo-in, Renge-5-1 Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan