Sunday, March 27, 2016 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

Kotan is a one michelin restaurant run by a friendly husband and wife team with one young girl, which I think is their daughter helping out.

Not knowing that they only offer lunch with a reservation, I went in to the restaurant and turn down by the head chef (husband) but he did say to come back at 5 for dinner. He does not speak English so we communicate via body language. So I did as he says than come back after I'm done with Nara sightseeings.

We were seated in an air conditioned private room. They don't have an English menu so we don't know what's coming. There are 3 options according to the price, starts at 6000yen, 8000 yen and 11000 yen, for lunch they have banquet dinner starts at 3000yen. I decided to pick the 6000 yen packages cause I'm not sure I have space on my tummy to eat the bigger packages at 5pm with all the snacking I had earlier.

The course started beautifully with a plate full of delicious natural ingredients. They tried to explain what it is with body language which I truly appreciate, even though sometimes I don't understand what they are trying to say. This dish consist of masai, sea snails, tofu skin, edamame and vegetables. Honestly, i love all the ingredients they served in this beautifully prepared dish. It was light, cold and refreshing, perfect opener for the course.

The second course was steamed crab with broth and pickled inside. This dish focus on the natural flavour of the crab, it was light, subtle but delicious. The crab was soft, beautifully cooked and no fishy flavour or smell at all.

The third course is a plate of beautifully arranged sashimi. All of them are fresh, tasty and beautifully cut. What could go wrong with fresh and well prepared sashimi? Love it.

The fourth course was small served of rice with minced meat in it and top with grilled beans. I don't know the beans name but it was delicious, I'm determine to find out what it is. The rice reminds me of kamameshi.

The fifth course was assorted vegetables with a little bit of broth and it was beautifully made. Kotan really focus on the natural flavours of the ingredients. The mixed textures of the ingredients was nice, as well as the smooth and natural sweetness.

The sixth course have 3 options - beef, chicken and pork. I pick beef and my husband decided to choose pork. It was beef dengaku and pork dengaku both at our table over a leaf with miso sauce. It was a fun experince. They served it with rice that contains bits of steamed chicken in it. I love this dish so much, the meat was beautifully cooked and seasoned.

The final course is green tea ice cream with hot green tea. I was so full and glad I did not order the larger course. The green tea ice cream was icy and very light, almost like a kakigori in texture.

Overall, I was satisfied with the food as well as their super friendly and attentive services. Besides the private room they also have a counter table and some tables outside the private room, where you can watch the head chef (husband) prepared all the food. 

I hope in the future they have an English menu and hire somebody that can speak English to represent them. At the end of the visit, the wife waited for us until we safely walk outside and gave us a pair of couple chopstick as a souvenir.


Open Tuesday-Saturday
Lunch: 11.30am-2pm (Last order 1pm)
Dinner: 4pm-10pm
Closed: mid August, late December - early January, Sunday except Public holidays and Public holidays Monday

6-2-17 Omiyacho, Nara
Tel: 0742 33 8817
One train stop from Nara station and two minutes walk