In early April, I was hoping to spend the afternoon relaxing at the Nijo Very Berry Cafe while having some American pancakes and a honey mocha but before that I wanted to try another café for a quick lunch. After looking through 京都とっておきのカフェKyoto Totte-Oki no Café, I decided to go to CAFE KOCSI because it’s on the corner of Tominokoji Street and Aneyakoji Street in an area from which I can get to Very Berry easily. Because the sign to the café is subtle (like most here in Kyoto) and because I had my own image of the café’s exterior before going, I walked by it several times before I noticed the orange wooden sign.
During my 12 years here, I have often passed this building; had I taken notice of it housing a café sooner, I may have discovered CAFE KOCSI way before. I entered the building and went to the second floor where the café is.
“Kocsi” means “carriage” in Hungarian. The café is pretty much surrounded by windows on all sides, bringing in a lot of light during the day, and the parts that aren’t windows are a beautiful teal color. Tables with comfortable-looking sofas and chairs are dispersed throughout the café for chatting with friends over food and drink to taking a little nap by oneself (well, I don’t think that anyone goes with the intention of napping, it’s just that the atmosphere encourages it when one is a little tired). There are bookcases from which the customers are welcome to choose a book through which to peruse. With mismatching furniture and all kinds of unique pieces of decoration where the eye can see, one would hardly believe that this “chaos” is what makes the customers feel so at home.
I chose a seat at the counter by a window in the area near the entrance. A friendly staff member immediately brought me water and a menu. Having come with the intention of trying the quiche, I glanced over the menus before ordering the 本日のキッシュhonjitsu no kisshu (quiche du jour): 新玉ねぎとベーコンshin-tamanegi to beekon (new onion and bacon), ￥680.
Compared to other slices of quiche that I’ve had in Japan, this was a substantial size, plus it came with a side of salad dressed with a flavor that reminded me of my days of study abroad in France. Delicious…it made me want to try any other kind of quiche that the café could bake up.
As much as I wanted to try something from the dessert menu, I needed to save some room for the pancakes that I had intended to have since the night before. I read that the owner was originally a baker who opened up this café in 2000 to watch people’s reaction to his baked goods from close-by; one can also buy the 15-16 different types of breads on sale at the café to take home. Just another reason to make it over to CAFE KOCSI again. ☺
Update: Haha, I did such a good job of writing up this post that I got the urge to go after work yesterday! Despite the strange weather that we were experiencing, I made my way over…I had no trouble finding it this time.
I was offered a table by the window with comfy chairs which I took happily; I too.
the area next to the kitchen which I sat facing
the view of the kitchen area from my seat
the rest of the dining area (I sat in the area behind the bookcase the first time that I came)
Since I hadn’t eaten anything all day (unless a small yogurt drink, milk and apple Pretz count), I was starving. Everything on the menu looked so good that it took awhile to decide (I had to turn away the waitress once) but finally I ordered the 鶏肉としめじリゾットtori-niku to shimeji rizotto (risotto de poulet et champignons), ￥850, which came with that salad.
I even ordered dessert and coffee ahead of time to be brought after I finished my meal.
はちみつとレモンのクレープhachimitsu to remon no kureepu (honey & lemon crêpe), ￥650, from the 本日のお菓子honjitsu no o-kashi (gâteau du jour) menu
my irresistibly-fluffy ホットハニーのフレーバーカプチーノhotto hanii no fureebaa kapuchiino (hot honey-flavored cappuccino, ￥600
Although I prefer my risotto more al dente, in a creamy, cheesy sauce the flavor was perfect, plus you can’t go wrong with the combination of chicken and mushroom. Another great combination: honey and lemon…needless to say the crêpe was delicious and just the right texture. For those who like their cappuccinos on the sweet side, the honey-flavored cappuccino is a definite recommendation.
It started pouring while I was there but being indoors in a cool café with yummy eats and drinks and a horoscope × blood-type analysis issue of an-an (a guilty pleasure of mine) and record-keeping to keep me busy, things couldn’t be better. After a couple of hours, I made myself go home but not before purchasing some bread in the café’s bakery.
フォカッチーナfokacchiina (focaccina), ￥130, and ソーシソンsooshison (saucisson), ￥210, which is a spicy croissant topped with a sausage and cheese
A deliciously-authentic experience of Italy and France in the couple of minutes that it takes to devour them.