*Found in Former Kyoto Cafes
Sunshine cafe is on the fifth floor of the イシズミビルIshizumi Building found on the ever-busy 三条名店街Sanjo Meitengai (connected to 寺町新京極商店街Teramachi-Shinkyogoku Shopping Street). One Sunday in late March of this year, I made plans to hang out with Margaret but ended up going ahead into the city since I was just waiting around. I had hoped to meet her at CAFÉ INDÉPENDANTS but when she texted to say that she wouldn’t be in for another hour after I’d already arrived there and been seated, I knew that I couldn’t hold the table with so many groups coming in; plus I was having trouble breathing from all the smoking in the place. Sunshine cafe was a sudden change in plans but a good choice in the end (I was planning to go eventually anyway).
Due to the greenery throughout the café, the interior makes one feel like he’s dining in the middle of a tropical forest (top left picture). Yeah, there’s even a small waterfall in the back toward the smoking section (bottom center picture). Well, I guess that it’s pretty bright for a tropical forest, being on the fifth floor in an area where the buildings aren’t so tall; that’s probably where the name, “Sunshine” comes in, huh? ☺
The place was full when I came in and the only place open was the round table for two closest to the elevator area in the non-smoking section (perfect!). Wanting to order food after Margaret arrived, I ordered an アボカド豆乳シェイクavocado tounyuu (soy milk) shake, ￥600 (top center picture), to tide me over (much of the menu was under the glass part of the table). Even if I hadn’t been dying of hunger and thirst, I would have thought this shake was heaven…rich and creamy, I could have drank it forever.
By the time Margaret finally arrived, I had relaxed and gotten some work done. Now I was ready to eat. The café uses only natural ingredients and no artificial flavoring; the types of cuisine offered varies day-to-day but one is always guaranteed concoctions of healthy meals. After much consideration, I ordered the 気まぐれスープランチ(キャベツとじゃがいも)kimagure suupu ranchi (kyabetsu to jagaimo) (“fickle” cabbage and potato soup lunch) which came with salad and three kinds of natural yeast bread (top right picture) and a drink, all for ￥840. I got the アイスビタミネティーiced Vitamine tea (middle left picture). The café sells original blends of herb tea, of which Vitamine is one. Vitamine has plenty of Vitamins A, C and E, good for the skin (and pretty to the eyes☆).
Margaret liked the tea that she got so much that she purchased some for home before we left. The soup was delicious, a good match for the yummy bread. When I finished, I was satisfied. Even though we could have had dessert, I decided to make it another day. I’ll be craving that avocado soymilk shake again in the near future. ♥
Update: About three months later, I went again, this time with Halka, for dinner since she hadn’t ever been before. We sat in a seat not too far from where I sat last time in the non-smoking section that afforded a good view of a shelf with the café’s original teas and other goods next to the cake display case (middle right picture).
There was so much on the menu that I wanted to try that it took awhile for me to decide. Halka was quicker about deciding: she got the ベジタブル塩スパゲティvegetable spaghetti in a shio (salt)-based sauce), ￥890. I finally decided on the ベジタブル塩こうじフライドライスvegetable fried rice flavored by shiokouji (salted rice malt) (bottom right picture). I didn’t regret getting it, it was so good and flavorful. Cooking with shiokouji is very popular in Japan now. It is said that to get the flavor that shiokouji solely provides, other condiments have to be mixed to match that flavor. Plus, shiokouji is good for beauty, health and diet, too! ☺ I had a bit of Halka’s spaghetti; another thing with which you can’t go wrong is salt flavor-based cuisine.♥
Halka was too full to have dessert, so she got only the ホットリラックス&ダイジェストhot Relax & Digest herb tea, ￥420. I still had room for dessert, so after checking out the display case, I ordered the アーモンドタートalmond tart and a ホットカフェオーレhot café au lait as my cake and drink set at ￥800 (center picture). The almond tart and café au lait met my expectations and was just enough to make me full for the rest of the night.
Update: I gave Mason café options for lunch and she chose Sunshine cafe. We got there a little before it opened and being the first there, we got to choose any seat; I let Mason choose upon which she chose a table in the area right in front of the counter and kitchen.
After going through the menu for a while, Mason decided on the 日替わりランチhigawari ranchi (lunch of the day), ￥840, the main dish being a vermicelli soup with 10 vegetables and fried tofu. The ロストチキンオープンサンドランチroasted chicken open sandwich lunch, ￥840, appealed to me the most (bottom left picture). The lunches came with drinks…I ordered the iced Vitamine herb tea yet again while Mason opted for the ホットレッドウッドチャイhot redwood chai.
Mason was pleased with her soup because it had so much vegetables and the soup’s flavor was subtle. My sandwich was delicious as was all the side dishes that came with it. Sunshine cafe has won over yet another fan.
Update: I’m sad to announce that Sunshine cafe closed its doors on March 31, 2016. I was surprised to hear of its closing although it appeared to be popular among locals and visitors to Kyoto alike.☺