Cafe & Pantry 松之助Matsunosuke is a café that specializes in American-style baked goods at the 高倉御池Takakura-Oike area. The producer, 平野顕子Akiko Hirano, learned the trade while studying abroad in the East Coast of the U.S. “松之助Matsunosuke” comes from the name of her grandfather who was a Noh costume artisan.
The café was established in October 2000 which is only a bit after I’d just gotten to Kameoka, Kyoto. The earliest that I remember noticing the café is about 2002 or 2003…Mr. Man’s sister had an apartment nearby, so sometimes we’d pass it. While it had a very Japanese name, the inside seemed to be more Western which was a little puzzling to me but there was always people coming and going constantly which was a good sign that the place is popular.
The café is noted in Hanako WEST’s November 2006 issue for baked goods, especially apple pie; there was a picture of biscuits, too, which inspired me to make a point to go sometime. However, it wasn’t until mid-March of this year that I finally brought myself to go after work in the afternoon; luckily there were enough seats open for me to be seated and I chose a two-seater table near the register which gave me a good view of the sweets display case and the kitchen.
the area near the door
the big table near the window behind me
I was disappointed to see that there were no biscuits when I was there, a big reason for why I’d gone. After debating for a while, I decided that I was most in the mood for a New York chocolate cake, ￥472; I ordered a hot caffè latte, ￥399, to go with it.
I heard that recently 松之助Matsunosuke has started a lunch menu that includes pancakes (made from wheat flour); I hope to make it over to try it sometime soon! ☺
Update: Half a year later, I finally made it down to check out the lunch menu before heading into work.
I chose the same seat as I did last time, against the wall of the stairs. They had rearranged the place to look a little more open. And, YES! today they had biscuits and scones!☺
The wooden tables and chairs were replaced by white tables and black cushy vinyl chairs (except near the door) which gave the place more of a diner feel. But it was definitely more comfortable for dining and relaxing.
The long table was gone to provide more private tables.
I came for the pancakes this day and the pancake I got!
bacon egg pancake, ￥1050, with ホットコーヒーhotto koohii (hot coffee) as my drink with the meal
Fluffy and buttery…I haven’t had a buttermilk pancake in a long time. The egg was a perfect sunny-side up and although the bacon wasn’t crispy, it was deliciously grilled, like thinly sliced ham.
Before my order even came I debated whether I should take a biscuit to go (￥157) or have it there (￥262) warmed up with syrup; I decided to do the latter.
A little sweeter than the biscuits that I’ve had back in the States (guess that I didn’t need the syrup after all) but tasty nonetheless! I left very full and satisfied…can’t wait to go back again!
Update: Since I hadn’t been to Matsunosuke for a while, I decided that it would be the perfect place to have tea and chat when Maki and I met for lunch, eleven months since the last time that I went. After MUCH contemplation (and we had plenty of time to contemplate because we were the third party waiting for a seat to open) Maki decided to go with the チェリーパイcherry pie, ￥441, while I decided on キーライムパイKey lime pie, ￥399, a pie that one hardly sees here in Japan; we both had アイスティーice tea with our pies.
We each tried a piece of the other’s cake…I could see that the founder of Matsunosuke had studied the art of sweets in the States, because the pies tasted very much like that found in the States. I’m glad that I got Key lime because although I would like to go again very soon, by the time that I go next, it might not be in the display case being that it’s not on the regular menu of sweets.
Update: Two months since the last time, I went back with Maki again for dessert after lunch at Restaurant blanc pierre. We got a seat before the afternoon rush.
We both decided to have the メープルアップルパイmaple apple pie, ￥630, and ホットティーhot tea, ￥420.
It was really good but it would have been better if it had been bigger and I didn’t have them warm it up because I like cold apple filling. I can definitely see why apple pies from here are so popular.