In one of the most touristy areas of Kyoto, the Kiyomizu area, there are so many cute “Japanese-y” shops that it’s hard to resist each one; Ten is one of them.
Around for the last decade, Ten is a modern Japanese-style gift shop and café. One enters first into the gift shop part where original Japanese-style ceramics, stationery, etc. are sold.
looking back at the entrance
Once you’ve gone through the shop, to the left is the café. The natural but chic interior is one of the charms of dining or taking a break there before, during or after perusing around the Kiyomizu area.
the dining area in the front
If you get there by 3:00 pm, you can enjoy a lunch menu with original dishes made from fresh Kyoto-grown vegetables but earlier this month I got there just after, before they close at 5:00 pm as many of the shops in the area do. Although I had been hoping to have a real meal since I had woken up late and had nothing to eat before heading into Kyoto, after walking from Kyoto Station on a warm and sunny day, I was hot and tired. While fanning myself and helping myself to the water that the waitress brought me, I decided that the matcha parfait would be a good choice (plus it was recommended in 京都とっておきのカフェKyoto Totte-Oki no Café), paired with iced coffee.
抹茶パーフェmaccha parfait (green tea sundae) with iced coffee, ￥1200
To tell the truth, I’m not much of a green tea ice cream fan. I like green tea as a drink but I just don’t crave it in ice cream form, since the first time I tried it 12 years ago when I came to Japan. Maybe if I keep eating it, like 明太子mentaiko (salted and spicy walleye pollack roe), I’ll learn to like it eventually…one thing that I may never learn to like is あんこanko (red bean paste). Growing up with a mother who loves 팥paht (red bean paste in Korean), I have yet to understand why anyone would love such sticky sweetness. Anyway, back to the parfait. I understand now why the parfait was recommended in my café book. The green tea ice cream was rich and I love how the green tea flavor wasn’t drowned out by all the sweetness that ice cream incurs, thus mellowing out the sweetness of the anko. All the other toppings, two 蕎麦soba (buckwheat) biscuits, a 白玉shira-tama (rice flour dumpling), a black sesame dumpling and a chestnut, were great compliments to the ice cream. Not too much sweetness, just enough, and it cooled me down, along with the ice coffee.
Before leaving, I couldn’t resist purchasing some cute fragrant message cards in a heart design, ￥450.