Yugen, a Japanese kaiseki restaurant awarded a one-star rating in 2021, quietly stands out in a tranquil, elegant neighborhood in the historical area of Uehonmachi, Osaka, a former imperial center and home to many temples and shrines.
The restaurant is helmed by chef Keisuke Mifune, who was accepted as an apprentice at Ajikitcho Daimaru Shinsaibashi at the age of 20 and then transferred to Ajikitcho Bunbu-an in Honmachi, where he served as chef de cuisine over his last five years. After that, he opened his own restaurant in June 2019.
Chef Mifune’s kaiseki dishes, which feature seasonal flavors, are made from traditional Osaka vegetables, such as Yao Wakagobo (burdock), Kadoma Renkon (lotus roots) from Kawachi, and Kozumi Takenoko (bamboo shoots), and other ingredients carefully selected from local farmers as well as producers in his hometown of Fukuoka. They are accompanied by Naniwa Kuroushi beef slowly fattened to produce lean, tender meat, as well as Fukuoka Yumetsukushi rice, which is greatly prized by guests for its balanced stickiness and sweetness. Among the dishes on the menu, soups made from a carefully prepared stock come highly recommended. Prepared by soaking natural kelp in spring water from Kameoka, Kyoto, for one day and adding Honkare bonito flakes from Makurazaki, Kagoshima, the delicate stock offers a rich flavor that stands in harmony with steamed shrimp dumplings, rock trout, or pike conger.
The drinks menu offers 15 kinds of Japanese sake, mostly from Kyushu but also from other renowned producers across Japan. The selection of sweet, sour, and other sake types produced by adding Kimoto yeast changes depending on the season, but all pair well with the chef’s refined, delicate dishes.
The restaurant’s name “Yugen” means elegance, which reflects the desire to create a refined, cozy space with a sense of security. This also represents the concept of Japanese culture. The entrance is partially covered by a noren (short curtain) dyed in three colors of red, green, and yellow by dyer Yoshioka Somenotsukasa, who took inspiration from Noh and Kabuki. The sukiya-style dining room has a six-seat counter from which guests can enjoy a beautiful view of a garden with azaleas and maples. In addition, there is a private room with a four-seat dining table. The brick charcoal grill behind the counter is reminiscent of an old kitchen.
At Yugen, guests are welcomed with warm hospitality by a chef trained at renowned restaurants. It is the perfect place to celebrate anniversaries, dine with family or a partner, and entertain business clients. Please enjoy delicious dishes in a sophisticated setting.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 5-minutes walk from Osaka Uehommachi Station on the Kintetsu Osaka Line