After our attempt to go to うめぞのUmezono CAFE & GALLERY, found on 蛸薬師通Takayakushi Street west of 新町通Shinmachi Street, failed about two weeks ago, Mason and I found our chance again, this time accompanied by Margaret as well, several days later (I just can’t get enough of machiya cafés!☺).
the view of the front area from our seat in the middle…the gallery of Japanese-style goods is at the front.
the second floor
the register and kitchen area
looking out onto the garden and restroom area
We were given cold 麦茶mugi cha (barley tea) and wet napkins once we were seated. I caught a glimpse of the shop cards at the register while checking out the place and realized why the みたらし団子mitarashi dango on the menu looked so familiar: I had them about five or six years ago when they were selling them at 大丸Daimaru for a limited time. I found out then that the original shop, Kawaramachi Umezono梅園河原町店 (there’s another one in the 清水Kiyomizu area) and went to buy some several times after that.
The 黒糖のフレンチトーストkokutou Furenchi toosuto (brown sugar French toast) drink set (she ordered ホットコーヒーhotto koohii (hot coffee)) appealed more to Margaret. I’m not surprised because those 進々堂Shinshindo baguette slices soaked in soy milk and brown sugar were delicious with just the right amount of egg; kinako and, of course, kuromitsu was provided to be used to one’s liking.
Mason and I got the 抹茶のホットケーキmaccha no hottokeeki (green tea pancakes). Mason just got the pancakes, ￥900, while I got the drink set, ￥1300 (I chose アイスコーヒーaisu koohii (iced coffee)).
Uji’s green tea mixed in with the batter to make that beautiful green color + topped with こしあんkoshi an (strained sweet bean paste) and 黒糖kokutou (brown sugar) butter = a beautiful picture of Japanese sweets…with a strong green tea flavor and a subtle sweetness, the pancakes are a good choice for both adults and children, sweets-lovers and those who don’t like sweets much alike. Just make sure to go on an empty stomach because it’s quite filling.
I want to go back to have the mitarashi dango again; it’s been too long!
Update: Almost a year and eight months later, I made a last-minute detour to Umezono to see if they had any new sweets. When I got there, a couple was waiting to be seated. I was told that if I didn’t mind sharing the big table (with a party of four elder ladies and one other young woman), I could be seated immediately; I chose that option.
I knew immediately what I wanted to order, the 濃茶ショコラkoi-cha shokora (dark green-tea chocolat, or chocolate cake); I also wanted a drink, so I got it as a ドリンクセットdrink set for ￥920. The drink took me longer to decide…I asked the waitress for her opinion and she said it depended on my preference…uh, duh…polite waitress but lacks an opinion and the ability to make chitchat. I ended up just havingホットコーヒーhot coffee although it may not be anything special.
Topped with non-sweet fresh cream made from soy milk and the most delicious green tea cookie with the Umezono emblem and with a side of anko, the cake was moistly dense and subtly sweet with plenty of green tea and white chocolate flavor. Coffee was the perfect choice after all, offsetting the sweet cake with its somewhat bitter flavor.
They sure tried to clear away my tray fast, ie. hint to hurry up and leave in my opinion, but I guess there WAS a long line waiting…next time I’d like to feel more free to stay as long as I like, especially because I hope to bring my family here when they come during Golden Week.
Update: Almost five months later, I took Jennifer and Lauren to Umezono to experience a machiya café after lunch at huku café. We were seated at the big table next to the window to the garden which we ended up sharing with another party of two until we left (it was as busy as I know it to be).
Lauren ended up getting the French toast with iced coffee while Jennifer chose to only have a ホット黒糖豆乳kokutoh tohnyuu (brown-sugar soy milk), ￥620, which came with a bit of sweets as all the drinks do when ordered alone.
I ordered みたらし団子と抹茶わらび餅ドリンクセットmitarashi dango to maccha warabi mochi dorinku setto (mitarashi dango & green-tea bracken-starch dumplings drink set), ￥1070 (I got アイスティーiced tea).
The girls seemed to have enjoyed the café; I definitely enjoyed my sweets.☺