Review: Aman Kyoto Dining, The Living Pavilion

Review: Aman Kyoto Dining, The Living Pavilion

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This Aman Kyoto Dining Review at The Living Pavilion is part of our recent Japan Trip Report, including ANA The Suite New First Class, JAL First Class, and Kyoto luxury hotel review.

Aman Kyoto only opened a few months ago, in November 2019, and is set among trees and mossy paths about a 15 minute walk from Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple, and about a 25-50 minute drive (depending on traffic) from Kyoto Station. Stay tuned for our upcoming Aman Kyoto review and video.

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Aman Kyoto The Living Pavilion Hours

For Aman Kyoto guests, meals can be enjoyed at The Living Pavilion or in the comfort of their own room or suite. Non-guests are able to make a reservation for lunch (11:30-2pm); afternoon tea (2:30-3:30pm) or dinner (5:30-9:30pm). Note that breakfast is served only to Aman Kyoto guests.

Window Seating, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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Aman Kyoto The Living Pavilion Menu and Food

Here's the prix fixe menu on the day I visited Aman Kyoto for lunch:

Menu, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review
Menu, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review
Dessert Menu, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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There was also a larger a la carte menu available, with both Western and Japanese choices. “Obanzai” refers to Kyoto home cooking.

Soup and Salad Menu, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review
Obanzai Menu, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review
Rice and Noodle Dishes, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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After being seated, I was offered an oshibori (moist towel) to cleanse my hands. Soon afterwards, a basket of warm homemade bread was brought, with butter and salt.

Bread, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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For my starter I had the cured spring sea bream with butterbur shoots, bamboo shoots, and kinome, a minty herb. These were beautifully plated into a wonderfully fresh spring dish.

Appetizer, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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The next dish, a savory french toast with fresh mozzarella cheese paired with green pea and bacon, was my favorite. In fact, if I could have had a double portion of this it would have been a perfect main course.

Mozzarella French Toast, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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The main course was a spring hot pot with firefly squid, which was plated with a creamy clam chowder sauce. This was actually chosen for me by my contact at Aman Kyoto, and while good, I'm just not a huge fan of squid, so I wasn't all that partial to this dish.

Spring Hot Pot with Firefly Squid, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review
Spring Hot Pot with Firefly Squid, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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For dessert, I had the Aman Kyoto parfait, a creamy concoction of sakura (cherry blossom), raspberry, and rose champagne and Wasanbon sugar. While usually I'm not a fan of parfaits (often it indicates there's no dedicated pastry chef on the culinary team) this one was the best I've had in some time, thanks to the unique flavor combination.

Dessert, The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto Review

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A nice touch at the conclusion of the meal, with my tea, were these delicious and buttery almond mignardises.

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The Verdict

My lunch at Aman Kyoto was delicious, fresh, and very seasonal; the highlight was the superb savory “french toast” with fresh mozzarella, green peas, and bacon.

The setting, as you'd expect, was serene and also cozy, with the Living Pavilion anchored by the central fireplace. The day of my visit, there were a number of non-resident guests dining, as it's become a popular place for well-heeled locals and Japanese visitors to have lunch or afternoon tea.

If you've dining at Aman Kyoto, what was your experience?

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