*found in Former Kyoto Cafes
Exiting 二条駅Nijo Station and walking straight on 御池通Oike Street toward 堀川通Horikawa Street, it wouldn’t be a surprise to walk past CAFE HERON without noticing it due to the only mark being a sleek gray sign with the name stenciled out (actually, many of the businesses on this street have understated advertising). However, peeking through the thick wooden doors, one will be glad to have chanced upon such a hidden and chic café.
The day in mid-March that I went with Yuri, we arrived a bit early, thus the chair in front of the entrance (top left picture); not knowing that, however, we went inside anyway. The staff (dressed all in black with little wrap aprons) was very kind and told us that we could go up to the second floor anyway and wait for the café to open to take our orders.
Upon arriving on the second floor, we were met with glass that gave us a view of the entrance area outside (top middle picture) and the counter space, great for those who come alone, that lined one side of it (top right picture). Close to the staircase, the restroom is next to the bookshelf filled with books, especially on interior (middle right picture). We chose the table closer to the restroom.
I ended up ordering the 本日のパスタ:海老と菜の花のバジルクリームhonjitsu no pasuta: ebi to nanohana no bajiru kuriimu (today’s pasta: shrimp & rape blossom spaghetti in a basil cream sauce)…lunch comes with salad and drink for ￥1000 (bottom left picture). Yuri had the カレーライスkaree raisu (curry & rice) topped with grilled vegetables; this lunch also cost ￥1000 (bottom right picture). We both chose coffee as our drink, to be brought after we finished the meal (bottom middle picture).
The spaghetti was delicious; you can’t go wrong with basil cream which hid the bitterness of the nanohana. Yuri said that her curry was also delicious. Since we both wanted to leave enough room for dessert at another place later on our agenda, we forewent dessert here. But that just gives me an excuse to come again. It was a nice place to talk with a friend but it also looks like a great place to relax and be alone as well.☺
Update: CAFE HERON closed as of July 2012 after four years of service; for now, it seems that there are no plans for reopening.