Cafe Style Resort 嵯峨野湯SAGANOYU is a public bath that has been renovated into a café since August 2006. The first floor consists of various types of seating, the kitchen and a gift shop; the second floor is a gallery where artisan’s wares are displayed for purchasing. The white exterior and interior is clean, just how the image of a former public bath should be. Although I passed it numerous times in my rambles of Arashiyama, I first went in August 2010 with Margaret because 嵐山Arashiyama was a good middle point for us to meet after work.
the view from the お庭o-niwa (garden) seat of the 空sora (sky) seat
the sweets kitchen
the terrace seat with a small pool that reminds one of what the café used to be
my アイスカフェオーレaisu kafe oore (iced café au lait, SAGANOYU special), ￥630…gotta love the huge ice cube!
Margaret and I both got the Kyoto-style hot chicken sandwich plate, ￥800, which came with salad…unfortunately, it is no longer an option on the menu. I remember it being delicious, though.
The next month of the same year, I went with Rika, once again a good middle point for us after work and because I had enjoyed my first experience so much.
my ベリーハーブティーberii haabu tii (berry herb tea), ￥650, which is no longer on the menu (but there is something similar by a different name)
Rika and I both got the Japanese-style duck & green onion spaghetti, ￥950, also no longer on the menu.
When Gillian and Barron came to visit Laurel in late June of this year (around the time that I did a poor job of posting to this blog, sorry about that!), I thought that SAGANOYU would be a good choice for us to dine at before we took in Arashiyama.
the genkan (entryway)
looking down at the おみやげomiyage (gift) section from the 吹き抜けfukinuke (atrium) on the second floor
Gillian had the 嵯峨野湯カレーSAGANOYU curry, ￥950, which doesn’t look much different from the チーズカレーcheese curry, ￥1100, that Laurel had, well, except for a lack of cheese. They both added salads for ￥300 each. It was just the thing to satisfy their appetites.
Barron had the パンケーキ(抹茶チョコ小豆)pankeeki (matcha-choko azuki) (green-tea chocolate & red-bean pancake), ￥880 for two. The taste, the presentation…I would not be exaggerating if I said that these pancakes turned out to be the highlight of his trip here.
I got the パンケーキ(メープル&ソルトバター)pankeeki (meepuru & soruto-bataa) (maple & salt butter pancakes, ￥700 for two…”simple is best” for me even though Barron’s pancakes looked tasty as well. I had trouble finishing one of my pancakes (I ended up sharing with Gillian and Laurel) because that’s just how beautifully thick that it was. Just the right amount of sweetness…to describe its yumminess in its natural state, I needed very little syrup and butter.
Barron enjoyed the pancakes so much that we came back for a second round several days later before Gillian and he left, this time with Margaret, Lars and Nanami. The Ryans all got the green tea and red bean pancake, and two pancakes at that. ☺
Margaret’s パンケーキ(チョコバナナ)pankeeki (choko-banana) (chocolate & banana pancake), ￥680 for one…another satisfied customer.
my ホットカフェオーレhotto kafe oore (hot café au lait, French-style), ￥580
Iced or hot, the café au lait is great accompaniment for relaxing and chatting with friends. These days SAGANOYU is a very popular spot for tourists and is often full of customers but the opportunity shouldn’t be passed up to enjoy a peaceful environment and fantastic food.
Update: Two years and nine months later, I went back to SAGANOYU with Jennifer who had been before and was craving pancake again…she recommended the new pancake, so I got フルーツのパンケーキfruit pancake for one, ￥760…for ￥210, I added ホットコーヒーhot coffee.
The pancake was soft yet chewy with a subtle chocolate taste; the fruits, fresh cream and chocolate sauce enhanced its deliciousness more. The coffee was really good, dark-roast I believe, and with a deep flavor and pleasant aroma, just like I like my coffee.
The café had undergone renovation last month: the second floor was no longer a gallery but it wasn’t in use when we were there…I assumed that it was used by the staff or another dining area not ready to accommodate customers just yet.