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Kyoten Gets a Perfect Ten

10.19.2016 by: Tom Harris
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In June, Kyoten Sushiko made the ambitious jump from sushi-slinging food truck to luxurious omakase, bringing Chef Otto Pham one step closer to his stated goal of running the best sushi restaurant in the world. Initially, he limited himself to serving a $150 fixed menu in two limited evening seatings. As someone who adored their affordable and uncharacteristically inviting truck location in East Austin, I was a bit heartbroken the rather high-end price point, but Kyoten’s recently rolled-out lunch menu closely resembles the truck of old, with reasonably priced sushi bowls and boxed sushi complementing a small selection of rolls.

Kyoten occupies an unassuming storefront on the edge of Mueller

The atmosphere in the Mueller restaurant is distinctly minimalist, essentially a single white room with two communal tables taking up its center and bar seating facing the walls. With little to distract, the focus is emphatically on the food, and the food holds up admirably.

The sparkling Hamachi Salad

The Hamachi Salad was bright and vibrant, cool and crunchy, with mint and peanuts echoing Vietnamese cuisine. Biting into the occasional hunk of slick lychee was like finding an actually cool prize in a Cracker Jack box.

Kyuri Maki, an exercise in subtlety

We got one roll, the almost austere Kyuri Maki. With only cucumber, kewpie mayo, and shiso to contend with, the perfectly warmed and seasoned sushi rice was the star of this plate.

Tekka Don, an umami bomb for the ages

If the Hamachi Salad was sunny and the Kyuri Maki delicate, the Tekka Don was dark and bold and unabashedly umami-forward, asserting itself as our meal’s focal point. The accompanying dishes tempered its richness and complemented it well.

Perhaps one day I’ll scrape enough spare change together to try the omakase menu, but until then, I’ll happily let Kyoten Sushiko’s lunch menu tide me over.

{Kyoten Sushiko Official Website}

TAGS : East Austin , Kyoten Sushiko