Having been to Kyoto restaurant several times before, I cannot recall an instance where I have been unsatisfied with my experience. During my most recent visit, I was greeted by three different members of the staff, as usual, and taken straightaway to my table.
A glass of comforting green tea was poured for me as I scanned over the ample choices on the menu. Defined as an establishment offering “creative Japanese and Thai cuisine,” Kyoto definitely delivers on delicious selections. I started off with the Tom Yum soup, a Thai style hot and sour soup with lemongrass and basil. For me it confirmed that there is nothing better than hot soup on a chilly fall day.
I then proceeded to chow down my choice of sushi, the angel roll – a specialty roll with shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna caviar and crunchy flakes, served on an elegant plate with sweet and spicy sauce. The pairing of the crunchy tempura with the sweet sauce and spicy caviar made for a very satisfying taste on my palate.
I ordered the red curry with chicken and vegetables as my entrée. Served in spicy coconut milk curry sauce with jasmine rice, the consistency of this curry was perfect: neither too thick nor too watery.
As usual, my eyes were bigger than my mouth so I took most of my food to go because I wanted to save room for dessert. The red bean tempura fried ice cream was exactly what I was in the mood of. The ice cream melted slightly under the tempura batter, which was spectacularly crunchy yet simultaneously soft.
This place is all about the food and peppy atmosphere. During the day, Kyoto can be a peaceful stop on the way home from a hectic day. A no shoes floor seating area takes up the left side of the restaurant while the right side is lined with tables. There is a sushi bar in the back where you can sit and watch the chefs hard at work making rolls. At night, the restaurant is a lively bar scene with a bustling wait staff. Top 1940s music explodes off the speakers and you feel like you are at a hip downtown spot.
Other recommended dishes include the Godzilla roll – a white fish and crab meat sushi fried golden and topped with special sauce and caviar –gyoza dumplings, pad Thai and the angry lobster roll, which is filled with shrimp tempura and topped with Japanese lobster, crawfish salad and eel sauce.
The classic spicy tuna and California rolls are also amazing. On the day of my visit, the appetizer special was a seasoned jellyfish and snail salad with sesame and sliced cucumber. Whether you are coming to be adventurous and try something new or you simply want a regular sashimi dinner or noodle dish, Kyoto does not disappoint.
Location: 153-11 Union Turnpike. Flushing, NY, 11367.
Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.- 10:30 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., Saturday; 12 p.m. -11:30 p.m., Sunday; 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
Price Range: $10.95-$29.95, depending on whether you order Japanese, Thai, or sushi.
Method of Payment: Amex, Visa, Mastercard, Discover