Category Archives: Blacklisted

Sake Bar Asakura Blacklisted

UPDATE June 2nd 2014 – Sake Bar Asakura is now BLACKLISTED! I would like to apologize to readers for recommending this bar based on one visit. Though the owner was very pleasant when I went with Michael B. of Kyoto Foodie, on subsequent visits he seemed only too keen to turn me away at the door. From the reports of others (please see the comments below)  it has become clear that Asakura-san really doesn’t want (some?) foreigners to visit his bar. it has become clear that the owner cannot be relied on to serve his customers in a polite fashion. Previously I conjectured that this was because he doesn’t want foreigners to visit his bar, but I have been told this is not the case. Regardless of the reason, I would now recommend NOT visiting this bar unless you wish to be treated very rudely. For a far pleasanter experience Sake Bar Yoramu is still recommended.

Last night, on my way home from A VERY IMPORTANT MEETING (about which I shall reveal more later), I bumped into Kyotofoodie‘s Michael B. (aka Peko) and not having seen each other for a very long time we promptly went for a drink together. Michael introduced me to Sake Bar Asakura and a very pleasant evening of sake tasting ensued. Here is the owner, Asakura-san, a friendly and fluent English speaker, who introduced us to a variety of sakes and told us a little about each one as we tried them out.

Asakura-san and a range of fine tasting nihonshus…

By the end of the evening I think we both agreed that we liked “Yadorigi”, the best. Here we are, the two Michaels;  myself cradling the Yadorigi and Michael B. with a bottle of “Kaze no Mori” or the windy woods (that one wasn’t bad either). Just look at how happy and satisfied we are!

Two very happy Michaels.

To read more about Sake Bar Asakura (perhaps more properly named Nihonshu Bar Asakura) and about the varieties of sake (more properly called nihonshu), take a look at Michael’s excellent article on Asakura-san’s bar on his site Open Kyoto.

Sake Bar Yoramu

Miss Daisy’s English Tea Room

This looks nice, doesn’t it?


This is the rudest shop in Kyoto. Continue reading

Raju Indian Restaurant – BLACKLISTED!

UPDATE January 30th 2012: This is not something I like to do, but having experienced consistently poor service at Raju restaurants at different locations my former enthusiasm for their food has completely vanished. The infamous occasion at their Shichijo branch when I was served chicken in a vegetarian curry and told “Don’t mind” should have been enough. Being told I could not use the drink coupon that I had brought with me to pay for my beer, because they had given me a “service” chai (which I neither wanted nor drank) merely added insult to injury and on that occasion I swore never to visit that particular branch again. However, on Saturday at their Imadegawa branch, we walked in to find it as cold on the inside as it was outdoors and customers were sitting at tables with their coats on, actually shaking as they ate their food. We asked them to turn on the heating and they told us it would heat up in five minutes but after 30 minutes it was still freezing cold and they had completely forgotten to bring our drinks. When I asked about the drinks in Japanese, and then in English, it was clear that the man who served me couldn’t understand either language. So we walked out. Shabby service means you lose customers and get a bad reputation. I don’t believe it is entirely the fault of the staff however. The blame lies with the owner, who in his eagerness to open more and more branches is neglecting to invest in adequate staff training. He also seems to be cutting costs by turning off the heating. So, Mr. Rajas, your chain is on the blacklist. But fear not Indian curry fans! For really good curry, at reasonable prices, and excellent service, let me point you in the direction of three very fine Indian restaurants: Kerala, Mughal and Namaste Taj Mahal.

The following should now be disregarded.

Prior Post (May 13, 2008): Raju, just off Hyakumanben is an Indian restaurant I have been frequenting quite a lot recently. It serves good food at reasonable prices and has a pleasantly sophisticated atmosphere (so no TVs playing Bollywood videos). Here are some pictures.

If you are hungry enough and want to try a little bit of everything the sets are a good deal. A vegetarian set comes at ¥1,300 and includes a salad, samosa, papado, three curries, yoghurt, nan bread, rice and a mango lassi to wash it all down. Or you might like to try the Rajesh course for ¥2,000 and enjoy all of the above plus a Tandoori set (lots of meat) and soup. Beer aficionados will be interested to note that in addition to the usual beer on draft they also have a selection of bottled Indian beers plus Turkish Efes. In general the food here is spicy but not too hot. If you like your curry to burn you can ask for extra spices (but it will cost a little extra too).

Raju off of Hyakumanben is open from 11:00 am ~ 24:00.

To find it just go east from Higashioji Dori on Imadegawa and you will find it on your left. Here is a map. Tel: 075-712-6688

Here are some maps to Raju restaurants in other locations (this is not an exhaustive list):

Kawaramachi. Tel: 075-212-4533

Fushimi. Tel: 075-643-8882

Yamashina. Tel: 075-593-0366

Tambaguchi. Tel: 075-351-8688