*found in Former Kyoto Cafes
Built in 1916, the building that houses flowing KARASUMA was formerly 北國銀行Hokkoku Bank, designed by 辰野金吾Kingo Tatsuno who is also known for designing 東京駅Tokyo Station; the vault, stairs, heavy iron door, etc. remain from its original state. The exterior of red brick with cement trimming is quite eye-catching (top left picture). The name comes from its concept of “flowing good energy” and being on 烏丸通Karasuma Street (at the intersection of Karasuma Street and 蛸薬師通Takoyakushi Street).
Since noticing the café which opened about six years ago, I’d been hesitant to enter until mid-October of last year because it always seemed to be teeming with people and quite often booked on the weekends for parties, not really a place where a hitori-sama would go. When Akiyo and I decided to meet for the first time in about seven years, I thought that it was the perfect chance to check it out.
There was a counter with a display of sweets in front to one’s left (middle top picture) and a cafe area to the right upon entering (top right picture). Akiyo and I sat at a table further in the restaurant area (middle right picture) from which we had a view of the rest of the spacious, high-ceiled, one-floor café (bottom right picture) and the terrace area outside (bottom middle picture).
We both decided to get a ランチコースranchi koosu (lunch course) which came with bread and appetizers (bottom left picture). Akiyo got 本ズワイガニとルッコラソースの生パスタ タリオリーニ hon-zuwaigani to rukkora soosu no nama pasuta tarioriini (fresh tagliolini in rucola sauce with real snow crab), ￥1850,
while I chose the 池帆立貝とピリ辛明太子スパゲッティーニ レモンと大葉風味 ike hotate-gai to piri-kara mentaiko supagettiini remon to ooba-fuu (lemon & beefsteak plant-flavored scallops & spicy pollack roe spaghettini), ￥1450 (middle left picture). Dessert was オレンジ風味のパンナコッタ orenji-fuumi no panna kotta (orange-flavored panna cotta) with which we had ホットコーヒー hot coffee (center picture).
The food was delicious, even though we got so caught up in talking that we let our food get cold and kept the waiter waiting in bringing us dessert and coffee. I’d like to go back and try some more of the expansive sweets and drink menu.