Japanese precision meets Italian passion in stylish surrounds


On the Pass

Ken Sakamoto

Pastry Chef

Mizuki Ino

Expect the unexpected: Combining Japanese precision with Italian techniques and flavours, chef-patron Ken Sakamoto continues to surprise and delight diners with his ever-changing tasting menu. It is available in eight or 11 stages – the latter of which includes no less than three desserts – and includes dishes such as chives, turban shells, kitara and Red Ezo pine with pastured milk.

Turning back time: The restaurant, which opened in 2014, has strong ties to the city of Kyoto and its heritage. Located in a century-old Japanese house near the Heian Shrine, the dining room is accessed through a red-brick tunnel built by Sakamoto and his team. With a focus on hyper-seasonal and local produce starring across the menu, Cenci embraces Japanese culinary culture and precision, with a touch of Italian flare.

What’s on the plate? Drawing inspiration from the seasons and the available produce, Chef Sakamoto rotates the menu regularly, ensuring that no guest has the same experience twice. Diners are kept on their toes with an introduction to lesser-known vegetables and seafood taking centre stage. Guests can expect to enjoy anything from lettuce, sweetfish, and majiakuri (a type of cheese) to kamo aubergine with corn and basil.

About the chef: Born in the Kyoto Prefecture, Sakamoto travelled extensively around Europe before beginning his career in gastronomy. He fell in love with Italian flavours after living with an Italian roommate in London and, after training under Yasuhiro Sasajima, he opened Cenci in 2014. Since Cenci’s inception, Sakamoto has pioneered the restaurant’s philosophy of helping ingredients achieve their full potential through expression of flavour and quality sourcing.


44-7 Shogoin Entomi-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606 8323

075 708 5307 Visit Cenci's Website Visit Cenci on Instagram