Be whisked away on a captivating culinary adventure at Ayatana, where flavours dance on your palate and vibrant colours and aromas enchant your senses.
STEP INTO A REALM where the best of Thailand and Japan come together at the new Dusit Thani Kyoto. Enveloped by the charm of the magical Japanese city, this luxury hotel is an urban sanctuary melding the heritage of Kyoto and Ayutthaya.
The hotel provides the chance to experience a rare union of Japanese architecture and the lavish Thai influences that define the Dusit Thani brand. As you gaze upon graceful chedi and pagoda-inspired silhouettes, a fascinating cultural narrative begins to unfold.
With 147 beautifully designed guest rooms, this new property sits 850 metres from JR Kyoto Station in the atmospheric Hongwanji Monzen-machi district.
Indulge in captivating history, distinctive design, and unmatched cultural immersions, including modern Thai and Japanese fine dining and unique healing rituals.
Among the hotel’s many highlights, Ayatana stands out. The signature fine-dining restaurant was founded by esteemed chefs Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and Dylan Jones. The duo are renowned for their exceptional culinary talents, showcased at their former Michelin-starred Bo.lan restaurant in Bangkok, which served meals focused on seasonal and sustainable elements.
Journey Through the Senses
Be transported to a world of sensory marvels as you enter Ayatana, an oasis of refined dining. Enriched by the wisdom of Buddhist philosophy, Ayatana shares a culinary journey that incorporates sight, sound, scent, taste, touch, and mind to guide gastronomy to new heights.
At the entrance, a warm welcome awaits with a traditional Japanese fan infused with enchanting essential oils. As you pass through the serene courtyard garden, your eyes feast on nature’s wonders. Before savouring the upcoming culinary delight, partake in a traditional hand-washing ritual using water infused with organic Thai herbs. Reflecting the changing seasons, the water temperature is refreshingly cool in summer and pleasantly warm in winter.
A culinary odyssey unravels with the first bite, expertly prepared and served in the open kitchen and paying tribute to Kyoto’s rich bounty with fresh auberges adorned with Thai green chilli. Next, take a seat and immerse yourself in the exquisite storytelling of Ayatana. Experience five amuse-bouches inspired by Shojin Ryori — the traditional dining style of Japanese Buddhist monks — centred around seasonal vegetables and mountainous plants. These simple ingredients promote balance and renewal for body and soul.
The number five holds significance in Buddhism, and Ayatana’s chefs marvellously infuse it into each of these small bites. From five distinct flavours (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami) to five colours (green, red, black, yellow, white) and five cooking techniques (grilled, smoked, steamed, boiled, raw), discover dishes presented in unique combinations that evolve with the seasons. Simply refer to the paper’ culinary compass’ presented upon arrival to learn more about each bite or ask the expert staff to explain their sensory stories.
Family-Style Homage to Thailand
Let your culinary exploration continue as Ayatana presents a refined yet inviting tribute to the Thai dinner — served in traditional family style commonly known as Samrub. Lose yourself in delightful flavours with a compelling ensemble of six delectable dishes. Revel in organic rice, vibrant salads, authentic curries, sizzling stir-fries, delicate steamed delicacies, nourishing soups, and an assortment of relishes that ignite the taste buds. Ayatana is also amongst the few restaurants in Japan that makes fresh handpressed coconut milk to make their dishes truly authentic.
After this epicurean indulgence, cleanse your palate with unforgettable coconut cream-based morsels from Kati, the renowned dessert atelier of Dusit Thani Kyoto and conclude your taste adventure with Thai-inspired wagashi, a traditional Japanese confection paired with Ayatana’s exclusive organic green tea cultivated at our very own Dusit Tea Plantation, nestled in the historic “Wazuka-cho,” a flourishing production area with an 800-year legacy of Uji Tea cultivation.
As your Ayatana journey nears its crescendo, surrender to tranquillity as the enchanting tones of a singing bowl guide you into a realm of enhanced digestion and serene revitalisation.
Ayatana follows the practices of Dusit’s Tree of Life sustainability program, committing to operating as sustainably as possible. Ayatana creates authentic Thai cuisine by sourcing from local artisanal farms around Kyoto to reduce carbon footprint while retaining authenticity by importing items such as palm sugar, fish oil, and organic coconut cream from Thailand.
Additionally, Dusit supports Ayatana’s produce needs through collaboration with Ohara Farmy and Dusit Farm, just 20 minutes from the city centre.
Ayatana exemplifies a harmonious sanctuary nestled beside a peaceful courtyard garden. Meaningful details resonate at Ayatana, from gentle lighting to tastefully designed seating and tableware reminiscent of Japanese philosophies like kintsugi and wabi-sabi. Ayatana invites diners to relish their harmonious cuisine in this memorable, inspiring environment.
For more information, please visit dusit.com/dusitthani-kyoto/dining
Article Sponsored by Dusit Thani Kyoto.
Images courtesy of Dusit Thani Kyoto.