There's plenty of dining options in and around U of A, but Kyoto has consistently been one of my go-to's for lunch and dinner while on campus. I've eaten here probably a dozen times, and now that I think about it, Kyoto was my first meal as a university student, and on the day of my convocation, my last. I guess we've come full circle.
The university location is only one of two. Funny enough, the other restaurant is also located on 109 street, although north of the river in the Canterra Shopping Centre downtown.
Inside the restaurant, there's plenty of seating with booths, tables, and tatami rooms. During the semester, Kyoto can get moderately busy but I've never had an issue with getting a table right away. We visited on Canada Day for lunch and it was actually pretty quiet inside.
First up, we were both given a bowl of miso soup and bean sprout salad as part of the bento box that we had ordered. The miso soup was warming, while the beansprouts were peppery, gingery, and refreshing.
For an appetizer, we ordered the cuttlefish tentacles ($4.50). Lightly fried with a thin batter, the tentacles were tender with a slight chew. The mango dipping sauce was a bit unexpected, but I thought the sweetness paired well.
The tsunami roll ($13.50) is a pretty safe and solid maki to get. Tempura shrimp, cucumber, and mayonnaise, layered with salmon, unagi, tobiko, and tempura crumbs. I do like how the tempura crumbs give additional texture to an otherwise soft roll.
We ended off with a bento box to share. All bento boxes are served with a bowl of rice and the aforementioned miso soup and beansprout salad. We chose bento box C ($14.80), which comes with battered teriyaki chicken and your choice of sushi or sashimi (salmon, tuna, red snapper, and surf clam). The box also includes green salad and a random side dish. Nine times out of ten, the accompaniment is agedashi tofu, but this time around, we received two pieces of gyoza. Pretty solid all around. No complaints here.
Kyoto isn't necessarily my favourite Japanese restaurant in the city, but the prices, consistency, and location is what brings me back again and again.