Kati Thai Cafe: Kyoto City Hall
Kati Thai Cafe
Kyoto City Hall / Thai
Ebisugawa-dori Fuyacho Nishi-iri, Kiyacho 488-1, Wood Bldg 2F.
Open noon-2pm, 5:30-10pm. Closed Mondays.
Sun: Open Sundays

The only item that polarizes diners at Kati is the Mekhong rum. Beyond this very potent brew, the menu of Thai classics has everyone in agreement - the food is good. Formerly housed in a converted warehouse, the new space is as long as the previous restaurant was broad. The pale green walls and plants have been maintained, as has the no-fuss service.

The lunchtime set menus (priced at under Y1000) are popular with local residents who need to dine on the hop. Green curry or pad thai with spring rolls or fish cakes are regular combinations. The house speciality is tomka gai - spicy coconut milk soup with chicken. All the desserts are Kati originals - try the tofu lychee syrup cake. The Iyara shochu is made in Thailand from jasmine rice and has a sweet fragrance. But be warned - it goes down very smoothly.

by Justin Ellis