Sarasa 3: Karasuma-Oike
Sarasa 3
075-811-0221
Kyoto: Karasuma-Oike / Mediterranean
Sanjo Kuromon-dori Hokuto-kado. [on the corner of Sanjo-dori and Kuromon-dori, 2 streets west of Horikawa-dori in the Sanjo Shotengai] Open 11:30am-11pm (lunch to 2pm). Closed Wednesdays.
Sun: Open Sundays

Sarasa is all about reasonably priced food in a huge old tobacco shop. The menu is broadly Mediterranean with a Japanese fringe, and most dishes come on large white platters that lend an air of celebration to eating here.

There is a range of moriawase plates that start at Y580 and include roasted vegetables, sardines in oil and tortilla with sausage among the choices. The smoked tuna and avocado salad caprese with wasabi mayonnaise is part of the Japanese fringe and the dressing is truly delectable. On a busy Saturday night giggling groups of female university students and a housewives' renunion are tucking into the seafood and grill plates (around Y1500 each). Value is writ large on the Sarasa menu and there is no doubt that the servings are big by Japanese standards.

The cheesecake, dusted with icing sugar, goes completely over the top with the breakfast-sized jar of Bonne Maman jam that accompanies it. The house wine (Y580) is just ordinary, so it would be far wiser to order Trapiche (red) or Casal Garcia (white, Portuguese frizzante) for Y2600 a bottle each. The cavernous space and array of seating lend themselves to lingering. The counter has front row seats to the open kitchen while the small room out the back beyond the garden is for trysts of a more intimate nature.

by Justin Ellis
Restaurant listing from Bento.com 3 Star Rating: worth checking out
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