From 御池通Oike Street heading north toward 御所Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace), on 二条通Nijo Street a little east of 柳馬場通Yanaginobanba Street, this quiet traditional area while being more subdued and residential is actually a treasure chest of some great eating establishments and café. This is where one finds Café Bibliotic Hello! (formerly a dry-goods shop). One can’t help but notice it from all the greenery, namely the banana trees, outside; amazingly the trees go well with the machiya image. Actually my first time here was about five or six years ago while exploring the area (there was a cute stationery shop diagonally across the street to which I’d often go; I recently found that it had closed shop in the time that I had been away).
On opening the door, one steps inside a spacious room that is at the same time cozy due to a large shelf of books and comfortable seating with tables that offer just the right amount of space to dine or have coffee, open up a book or just get to work on something.
There are stairs that lead up to a loft area; I’ve yet to go there.
There were also stairs that went down underneath these stairs but probably only staff are allowed down there…this place is pretty big.
There’s even a terrace, too.
I had finished lunch at mahola ‘n’ LuLu earlier, so I was in the mood for some sweets and coffee…I ordered the “Brownie Rich”, ￥500, and a ホットカプチーノ(シナモン)hotto capuchiino (shinamon) (hot cinnamon cappuccino), ￥550.
Unfortunately the “Brownie Rich” was not much like a brownie due to the texture but it was a good gâteau au chocolat and even had a layer of pistachios (yum!). The cappuccino can be made exactly to your liking, just let the waitress know.
Before I knew it, I had to be on my way. On my way out, I quickly checked out the bakery/gallery to the left before exiting (I don’t remember noticing it the first time that I came).
The bread here is made from natural yeast.
Northern European wares
I’ll be back to try the hashed beef and mashed potatoes! ☺
Update: Yesterday afternoon, I went to have the hashed beef and mashed potatoes.
ハッシュドビーフマッシュポテト添えhasshudo biifu masshu poteto soe (hashed beef with a side of mashed potatoes), ￥950
Despite the very small amount of potatoes (disappointment), it was all very tasty. I asked for less rice but actually the rice was a little on the hard side, just the way that I like it, so I kind of regretted not getting the regular amount. However, it was the right amount, so I finished everything at the same time. I’d eat it again.
Update: I’ve been reading that Hello! is now selling cupcakes in various magazines and I finally made it there over a year after my last visit.
some improvements to the bakery since the last time I was there
The interior had changed a bit (no dining in this area anymore).
Too bad I could only get one…I finally decided on the チョコレート＆ミントカップケーキchocolate & mint cupcake, ￥300
Although a less moist and sweet version of the American cupcake, it was better than I had expected with a subtle chocolate and mint flavor…I’m curious about the other flavors now.