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Girljin in Japan By Rachel Tranter Davies
OASI
Adapted, Adjusted, Simple. Organic Italian Style


OASI, meaning ''Oasis'' in Italian, is truly representative of its namesake. A haven for locals and travellers alike to recuperate over great food, in great company and whilst appreciating great surroundings.



Tucked away in Nishijin, one of Kyoto's most traditional areas, more famed for kimono textile weaving than food, OASI is turning heads with its intimate Italian charm and space wrapped in deep hues, imparting a warmth that does nothing but encourage guests to submit to the OASI experience.

Opened by chef Kaori Yoshida, previously the owner of a casual Italian bistro ''Colori Caffe'' in the city, Yoshida-san spent time interning at Chez Panisse in California, thought to be the true pioneer of the farm-to-table movement nearly 50 years ago. Here Yoshida-san learned not only how to make the most of seasonal ingredients, but how the relationships between restaurant and supplier can (and should) be a sustainable community, proud to come together to revitalize the customer experience.



After another stint in the US, this time in New York at one-Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant Kajitsu, Yoshida-san returned to Kyoto to work at a 6-month pop-up in Gion, Sake Caliente, an adaptation of a popular sake bar in New York City, where the focus was on seasonal Japanese ingredients and techniques.

Following the pop-up, a research trip to Italy further inspired a draw to create something to showcase both local, seasonal Kyoto produce and Italian regional cooking. Yoshida-san was fascinated with this fresh way of approaching her cooking, blending the best of each country's techniques, food cultures and ingredients to yield something spectacular.



One more pop-up, a vegetarian restaurant concept in Nishiki Market, allowed Yoshida-san to embrace a way of creatively crafting vegetable-only dishes without working within the confines of using meat or fish. Building on her years of experience across the globe, she set out to set up OASI.

Opening early this year, Yoshida-san has stayed true to her aim of adopting a community feel, buying local pesticidefree and heirloom vegetables from a small farming area just north of Kyoto City, Ohara. Here she visits the farmers market regularly, meeting with producers and really getting to know her produce. Opening for lunch and dinner, OASI offers wine and Italian tapas, homemade pasta, rich meat, fresh fish, all cooked simply to allow the incredible products to shine.

Lunch: 12:00-14:00, Dinner: 18:00-22:00; Closed Mon. & 2nd & 4th Tues.; www.yooying.com/oasi.kyoto



Rachel is a food, drink and travel writer. Originally from England, she recently relocated to Japan and is now finding her feet in Kyoto. You can find her blogging tweeting and instagramming her experiences at Girljin in Japan.




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