This past weekend, I invited Katalin to go with me to check out CLAMP COFFEE サラサSARASA, the newest establishment for the さらさSarasa chain that started out as a renovated machiya café and now consists of seven establishments, including a bakery and now this coffee shop; they opened on the 15th, about two weeks ago. I took the train from Kyoto Station after work and got off at Nijo Station; while I was waiting to hear from Katalin about her whereabouts, I decided to go on ahead down Oike and see if I could find it…although I had researched the location of the café before going, I had a hard time deciphering the maps which all seemed a bit off from each other; however, I was able to find some pictures of the road outside which I’ve passed many times before, with a roji that leads into a cul-de-sac that seems to have a garage as well as a couple of little shops with an antique feel…that’s where CLAMP should be.
I found it without a problem and waited out on the road (not for too long, though) until Katalin came biking up after her errands.
We parked her bike in the parking area for the café and the shop upstairs (in the area to the right, not shown in the picture) before venturing in…I hear that this area has a history that goes back 1200 years!
the front area
the counter seating behind which the owner prepares the coffee…do you see the clamp clamped on one of the shelves?
The café roasts its own coffee beans (and probably for the Sarasa chain) here.
the counter seating by the window
This, the only table in the place, is where we ended up sitting…I totally agree with the motto on the wall to the left.☺
The menu is on a small board behind the register as well as handwritten on the display case for sandwiches and sweets by the counter; the only drinks that seemed to be served was drip-brewed coffee and lemonade but of course we got the coffee, that’s why we were there (at least I was). I also wanted a bit to eat and the owner, a gentle yet friendly young guy with a cap and goatee originally from Fukuyama in Hiroshima, said he could make it into a set for a me although they were no longer offering the morning set at that hour (understood☺).
my ドリップコーヒーdorippu koohii (drip-brewed coffee), ￥340, and buttered toast with 自家製ジャムjikasei jamu (homemade jam), flavors being いちじくichijiku (date)、棃＆りんごnashi to ringo (pear & apple)、マーマレードmaamareedo (orange) for an additional ￥160
The coffee was delicious; I ended up drinking it black with (brown) sugar while Katalin had hers with milk and sugar. The toast was toasted to my liking (chewy and soft despite the toasting) and the jam was a wonderful accompaniment for it.
Besides Katalin and me, everyone was a hitori-sama enjoying a good book and coffee…my kind of chill place! I want to go back soon and try the morning set or some of the goodies that they offer in the display case (the selection was kind of sparse when we were there) while enjoying a quiet morning or afternoon there hitori de.