Need to fuel yourself through a whole day of sightseeing? Kitchen Gon is the place to eat.

There’s no Japanese city more traditionally Japanese than Kyoto, and that extends to the food. Whereas some other major Japanese population centers like Osaka and Nagoya are famous for heavy fare like Kansai-style okonomiyaki crepes or chicken wings, Kyoto’s most famous foods, such as yudofu (tofu hot pot made with bonito stock) and nishin soba (soba noodles with herring), are cooked to appeal to more refined palates.

The potential problem, though, is that most travelers to Kyoto pack in a full day of exploring the city to see its beautiful temples and shrines, and all that walking around is likely to leave you craving something heartier than tofu and fish. But fear not, because Kyoto’s Kitchen Gon is here to help.

Kitchen Gon has only three locations, but it’s made a name for itself thanks to its signature dish, Pine Rice (with “Pine” pronounced “pee-nay”). We’d never heard of Pine Rice before, since it’s a name that Kitchen Gon just made up on its own, but looking at the menu reveals that it’s a combination of curry, pork cutlet, and fried rice.

Those are three things that just about everyone loves, and Kitchen Gon feels that if people like them a lot, they’d also like a lot of them, right? So if you head to the original Kitchen Gon location, like we did, you upsize the standard 220-gram (7.8-ounce), 540-yen (US$5) Pine Rice into the gargantuan Mega Pine Rice, which is a full kilogram (2.2 pounds) for just 1,290 yen (US$12).

▼ The Mega Pine Rice comes with a side of potato salad, for the sake of…nutritional balance? Bizarre comedy? We’re not entirely sure.

By the way, we should clarify that when the menu lists the Mega Pine Rice as one kilogram, it’s talking about the amount of rice used. The figure doesn’t include the weight of the three pork cutlets or curry sauce, so the whole thing is actually quite a bit heavier than a kilo, which you’ll be audibly reminded of when the server sets the plate down on the table with a sonorous clang.

Kitchen Gon cooks its pork cutlets up a bit crispier than a lot of restaurants in Japan, and there’s a satisfying crunch as you bite into each slice. The curry is flavorful and makes doubly sure that the crispy pork doesn’t feel at all dry, and while pairing white rice with curry is the norm in Japan, the salty, savory notes of the fried rice make for an excellent combination.

There’s really not much room to complain when you’ve got a mountain of three palate-pleasing foods in front of you, but should you find yourself perhaps wanting to change up the flavor profile part-way through your meal, Kitchen Gon also supplies spicy “Table Spice” that you can sprinkle on to give the Mega Pine Rice an extra kick.

Even the normal-portion Pine Rice is great value, but the Mega Pine Rice is large enough to pretty much power you through an entire day of sightseeing on its own (we actually skipped dinner the night before, which is part of why we were able to finish the whole thing).

And if by some chance you’re still hungry after eating the Mega Pine Rice, you can always grab a sparrow from a Kyoto street vendor or something.

Restaurant information
Kitchen Gon (Kyoto Rokkkakuso branch)/ キッチン ゴン(京都六角総本店)
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Nakagyo-ku, Rokkau-dori Takakura Higashi-iru Horinoue-cho)
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays

Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he actually never gets tired of Japanese-style curry.

[ Read in Japanese ]