Kyoto, a new addition to the Coast restaurant scene, specializes in authentic Japanese cuisine.
The is a large restaurant and you can choose to sit at a table, booth or at the hibachi grill.
The menu is expansive, and you’ll find more than 100 selections, with 30 appetizers from which to choose.
The basic categories are appetizers, soup and salad, Japanese noodles, Pad Thai, fried rice, roll and hand roll, specialty rolls, hibachi dinners, sushi and sashimi, dinner entrees, combination dinners, bento box and hibachi.
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A good way to get a feel for a restaurant is to make a selection from the smaller portions found on the appetizer list, and that is what my friend Leslie Fenton and I did. She has spent some time in Japan and led the way.
We started with Tuna Tataki ($9.95) and it was a delightful way to get started. Thin slices of tuna, just lightly seared, exactly the way it should be presented, accompanied by pickled sushi ginger, as was every dish we tried, and a light sauce that was a complement. Next, we moved to salmon sashimi ($9.95) and again we were met with nothing but delight. Fresh salmon, ginger and a bit of wasabi to mix with soy sauce; I like it sharp and hot.
Fenton suggested trying the green mussels ($5.95) and it was a wise choice. The mussels are a bright color, but the mild flavor of the chopped mussels and delicious sauce was a good pairing. It is a bit of a task if you are a beginner with chopsticks, but do-able. Next to last, we tried the scallop yakitori ($7.95) and found them another fine choice. Three to a skewer, with another delicate and fitting sauce, made these just right.
Lastly, we tried the shrimp and vegetable tempura ($6.95). I am a big fan of almost anything tempura and the selection of vegetables — sweet potato, asparagus, broccoli and zucchini — was just right.
If you like the idea of a larger sampling of small dishes, and at a reasonable price, this is the way to go and I recommend Kyoto for it, but if the rest of this extensive menu is as thoughtfully plated and prepared, I think you’ll like almost anything on the menu.
Kyoto Japanese Cuisine
3942 Bienville Boulevard, Ocean Springs
Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m.; and Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.