*Also found in Former Kyoto Cafes
From 四条通Shijo Street, I’ve turned on to 御幸町通Gokomachi Street many times these last 12 years, most often to avoid the crowded sidewalks, but seldom did I notice the light green sign indicating cafe diner リズムrhythm in front of a 路地roji (alleyway) that lead to DECO3, the building that also houses the Vietnamese-French restaurant, Xuan, where I went about two years before with Jun, on the ground floor…rhythm is found on the second floor (the top left picture in the collage is the view of the 路地roji from outside the café and the top right picture is the view of the garden area shared with Xuan).
After entering and before going up the step in the middle of a narrow corridor into the cozy yet hip café, one must take off his shoes which is put in a basket, then placed by one’s seat. When I went in early April this year after work, the place was full of customers and I was seated at a two-seater table in the back next to the window that looks out on the garden (the view from my seat is the top middle picture)…although it was still fairly cool outside, the window was cracked open a bit to bring some air into the toasty room (for me I needed fresh air since the place was pretty smoky). Since it was so smoky, I could only bear to have a ホットチャイhot chai, ￥600, which was delicious, sweet, how I like it most of the time (center picture).
I decided to go a second time about two weeks ago; I was the first customer for the lunch hours and alone for most of my stay. I chose to sit at the counter, the seat closest to the exit (the middle left and right pictures are the views from my seat)….that’s when I noticed the café’s emblem and name on the wall (also found on the dishes, coasters, etc.).
FYI: the emblem was created from the image of the pine tree that used to be in the garden when the café started.
rhythm specializes in Asian cuisine (Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean) and has a variety of dessert and drinks, including alcohol. Everything looked good but I finally opted for the 海鮮おこげあんかけkaisen okoge ankake (crispy rice with thick seafood sauce) which came with a drink (I ordered アイスウーロン茶iced oolong tea) for ￥900 (bottom left picture).
With me being the only customer, the usually bustly atmosphere (sometimes the café holds parties complete with a DJ) was more peaceful and I was able to get a lot of work done…I even decided to have dessert: ガトーショコラとカシスシャーベットgâteau chocolat with cassis sherbet and a ホットカフェオーレhot café au lait for ￥900 (bottom right picture).
I’m glad that I went back a second time; I wasn’t ready to write it off when I hadn’t had any food the first time. Great place for smokers now that quite a few places are banning smoking inside, and for those who are sensitive to smoking, we have to make do or go when there are few customers☺. It’s amazing how secluded the place can feel despite being smack dab in the middle of all the hubbub in the city.
Update: As of January 13, 2015, cafe diner rhythm closed its doors after 12.5 years of serving the locals and visitors of Kyoto. However, its sister shop, 祇園まるまるgion maru-maru, across from 円山公園Maruyama Park still continues to serve fast food (sorry, no Asian cuisine like rhythm) for the strolling crowds as well as a quick stop before one continues on his way.