Even meat lovers will want to put this vegan restaurant at the top of their list for their next trip to Kyoto. Vegan Ramen Uzu Kyoto opened in March last year as a collaboration with teamLab. Not only is the food here free of any animal products, the restaurant also features digital art that surrounds you as you eat.
The black and white art titled ‘Reversible Rotation’, which can also be found at the teamLab Borderless museum in Tokyo, is inspired by Japanese calligraphy. To give the work its well-deserved undivided attention, nothing else adorns the walls and tables at the restaurant, so diners can watch the moving art reflected on the sleek black surface of the tables.
As for the food, the ramen comes in several vegan broth options, ranging from a light shoyu base simmered with kelp and shiitake mushrooms to heartier miso-based soups. There’s even tsukemen-style noodles served in a bold and spicy dipping broth seasoned with aromatic sansho pepper. Of course, the menu here offers more than just noodles. Supplement your meal with a side of vegan oshizushi (pressed sushi) or end with a dessert of plant-based vanilla ice cream drizzled with housemade matcha sauce.
There are 16 seats in total, but the atmosphere in the dining room changes depending on its occupancy. As soon as a diner takes an empty seat, their spot is illuminated so that they effectively become part of the exhibit.
Vegan Ramen Uzu Kyoto is currently operating on shorter business hours due to Covid-19. Lunch is from 11.30am-10pm, dinner from 6pm-10. The restaurant does not allow children under 6 years of age.
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