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Meet the ''Foreign Locals'' in Kyoto
Jono Khanty

-Owner & Chef of KHANTY restaurant
-From Vancouver, Canada
-Based in Kyoto since 2015
-Welcome to his cozy, casual, musical and contemporary restaurant where diners can experience an authentic flavors from South east Asia.

What brought you to Kyoto and made you decide to settle in this city?

JONO: I met my wife, Maki, in Vancouver in 2015 at the same time when I was thinking to start my own restaurant somewhere outside of Canada. Japan was already in my mind at that time, and Maki is from Kyoto, so the decision was made quickly. We opened our restaurant, KHANTY, in September 2015. I often heard, ''If you can make a success in Kyoto, you can also do so anywhere else in the world.'' Now after over three years at running my restaurant here, I understand that Kyoto is a city which requires its people to nurture a sincere relationship with its history, tradition and people. Every city has its own counterparts, of course, but those of Kyoto have been nurtured by a long and profound history of 1200 years.

As a restaurant owner & chef, what kind of attraction do you find in Kyoto? And how are you reflecting it in your dishes?

JONO: I was brought up in Vancouver, where we also have four seasons, however, I feel people in Kyoto are much more seasonconscious. Enjoying each season with appropriate dishes is a big delight for Japanese people. One small piece of vegetable or another seasonal item on the plate can tell of the subtle transition throughout the year and will let the diner feel pleased. I use vegetables and ingredients from local farms, or at least from Kansai area, and present them as my original Laotian cuisine; the country my father is from, with European techniques.

What or which place/attraction do you recommend to our readers?

JONO: I can suggest many places I recommend which I have discovered exploring by myself. I like the local shopping street near us where the life of people is going on every day, Shokoku-ji Temple is almost unknown but really worth going to visit. I also like the delta of the Kamo River as it's a nice picnic place in spring and summer. I'd like to recommend that tourists not rely on guidebooks and reviews, but just walk around the city by foot and explore as much as you can. Kyoto has so much more to offer than you expect.

Open: 18:00-24:00