In mid-October this year, Yuri and I went to あじき路地Ajiki Roji on my request; afterward while walking along 大和大路通Yamato-oji Street trying to decide where to have lunch, we came upon the sign and menu for CAFE OPAL, a café at the end of a roji in 東山Higashiyama. The menu and exterior looked promising, so we decided immediately that this would be where we would lunch.
There was maybe one other party when we came in but pretty soon the place filled up…we chose comfy-looking seats in the retro-looking front.
goods for sale at the front
the counter seating and more seating in the back…the rest of the area looked pretty much like any other modern café found in Kyoto.
seating in a more cozy area that looks out on the patio
the view up the stairs…only staff allowed up here
We were both curious about the 小松菜とくるみのハンバーグkomatsuna to kurumi no hanbahgu (Japanese mustard spinach & walnut hamburg), ￥1000, so that’s what we got…it came with salad and brown rice.
I got アイスコーヒーice coffee for an extra ￥300
while Yuri had ホットチャイhot chai for an additional ￥200.
The café seems to be serious about coffee (from KAFE工船Kosen)…I found mine to be quite refreshingly flavorful, and I had a pretty big serving at that. Although the hamburg appeared more measly than others that I’ve had at first sight, it was delicious, even with the strong sauce (I don’t like demi-glace sauce or anything of the like), and the komatsuna and walnuts made the texture more course, which I prefer in hamburg. Yuri and I both agreed that the café was a nice last-minute decision.
Researching CAFE OPAL later, I found that it had originally opened at 三条河原町Sanjo Kawaramachi in October 1997 but closed its doors in 2008 only to open again the following year at its current location…they even offer chiropractic services in the evening from Thursday to Sunday. The tag accompanying the café name on its website is “the most soulful cafe in the world”…I could say we found soul in our choice for lunch and the decor.☺
But above all, I think its charm is in being a hidden treasure chest found in the intricate maze of roads in Higashiyama.☺