I had seen 栞栞カフェShiori Shiori Cafe, the sister café for 松富や壽いちえMatsutomiyakotobuki-ichie that occupies a 120-year-old machiya and serves o-banzai made with organic vegetables, in magazines about new Kyoto cafes (Maki had even mentioned that she was interested in trying it after finding it in a magazine, too) but I kept putting it off until a day I would have enough time to ramble, even get lost.
Over two weeks ago, Mason and I were walking to 森林食堂shinrin syokudo for dinner after having dessert and drinks at cafe de Naiki when a subdued turquoise sign and noren caught my eye among the dark Kyoto town scene; we had unintentionally run across Shiori Shiori Cafe!
After checking out the menu and seeing that we had two hours before the café closed at 7:00pm, I figured it was best to change our plans and stay (sorry, shinrin syokudo!) instead of assuming that we’d be able to come back again soon which doesn’t always work out when it comes to me and cafes.
the first-floor dining area: tables and counter seating
looking at the front from the back
one part of the second-floor dining
the other part
looking down at the front of the first floor
There were books throughout the café; later while chatting with the friendly manager, we learned that especially the comics were her own collection…the manager wanted to create a cozy environment so that anyone who comes can relax and stay for hours as if he was at home (that’s the type of café to which she would want to go). Shiori Shiori reopened at the end of February (yes, just several weeks ago) under new management; however, the kind of food served, healthy and hearty meals based on organic products, seems no different from what had been served before.
We both ordered the 旨塩こうじ京地どりカツごはんuma-shiokouji Kyou-jidorikatsu gohan (“delicious” shiokoji-flavored Kyoto-raised chicken cutlet meal), ￥890, but due to its popularity throughout the day, only one of us could have it. Mason graciously offered to have the まるごと北海道コロッケごはんmarugoto Hokkaidou korokke gohan (whole Hokkaido croquette meal), ￥890, instead. The meals came with miso soup, コシヒカリKoshihikari brown rice (yay!), salad, tofu, a kon-nyaku (devil’s tongue jelly) side and a ごぼうgobou (burdock) side. Feeling bad about one of us having to change her order, the manager gave us two pieces of あじフライaji-furai (fried horse mackerel) on the house.
Mason and I gave each other a bite of our main dishes, so in the end we got to try all the main dishes offered that day…although they were fried, they weren’t heavy at all and quite easy to eat. It was one of the best Japanese-style meals I’ve had, healthy and perfectly flavored.
Mason was still working on her meal and since we’d be going straight home afterward, I decided to order the ふわふわfuwa-fuwa, an especially fluffy chiffon cake (using special eggs from 三重県Mie Prefecture and no butter), ￥450, which I had as a おのみもののセットo-nomimono setto (drink set), taking ￥200 off my ホットコーヒーhot coffee and making it ￥250…the coffee came with cute little cookies, one of which I gave to Mason; they had a simple yet tasty flavor.
Moist and light-flavored, the cake was a great way to finish off my meal at Shiori Shiori; Mason says that she can even count the meal here as one of the best that she’s had in Japan.
Update: About a month later, I went back to Shiori Shiori Cafe to have a quick dinner before heading home…actually it was a last-minute decision after finding huku cafe closed. But I had been wanting to go back for the last week or so, so it worked out for the best. The first-floor seats were taken, so I went upstairs and sat at the two-seater next to my table with Mason last time. The manager remembered me, so I informed her about writing a post about the cafe about which she was happy. She mentioned that they were thinking of starting breakfast for people who want rice in the morning. When the tables opened up downstairs, she offered me a seat there since I had sat upstairs before (impressed that she remembered!), so I sat at one of the tables closest to the garden.
I ordered the chicken cutlet meal that I had before. Besides the presentation, a side dish (a チンゲン菜chingensai, or bok choi, & fried tofu dish), the rice being a more softer and chewy type and the price (now ￥920), it was the same tasty and healthy goodness that I had last time.
The flavors for the fuwa-fuwa had increased to seven kinds a day (although there’s only six in the picture due to one selling out).
I decided to have the サクラ・サクふわふわsakura-saku fuwa-fuwa (“blooming cherry blossom” fuwa-fuwa) one, ￥540…the price for all the fuwa-fuwa is the same but has risen with the increase of consumers tax; however, the slice is bigger now. With sakura syrup and pickled sakura, throughout, it’s a piece of spring as the manager put it…I couldn’t agree more☺. If you like sakura flavor, this is the cake for you. Too bad it’s only available for a limited time.
The manager gave me the cookies that go with drinks (see above) even though I didn’t order any (and I even brought in takeout coffee from Caff!); score, these cookies are cute AND delicious!
I decided to take a piece of the newest fuwa-fuwa, 豆乳バニラtohnyuu banila (soy milk-vanilla), made for the first time today, home, ￥100 off at ￥400 when taken to go; the manager said that the part-time worker thought this was the best flavor yet…when I tried it back home, I thought it was pretty outstanding being moist and just the right amount of sweet. Of course the cookies were delish, too! Although it costs ￥100 for a takeout box, I wanted more compact packaging to carry it to Kyoto Station in my bag…the manager wrapped it in waxed paper and bagged it for free after conferring over the phone with the owner who said such a devoted customer as I shouldn’t be charged☺. She even included more cookies (a package of five, the most I’ve had at once yet!)!
I found out the manager’s name: Morimi-tencho, a nickname that comes from her hometown in 宮城県Miyagi Prefecture and the end of her first name as well as her job title. Since I was the last customer again, I got to talk to Morimi-tencho a bit and even exchanged name cards. Mine has my blog URLs on it and she said she’ll check it out sometime, especially the post on the café.
Update: A month later, I went to Shiori Shiori to get some fuwa-fuwa to go before heading to huku cafe for dinner…I chatted with Morimi-tencho whose hair was now in a cute bob (before her medium-length hair was always behind a kerchief) while she prepared my order: apparently the café was on a TV program where maiko-sans introduce places in Kyoto; she said she would announce when it airs on Shiori Shiori’s Facebook page. Before I left, she presented me with smiley cookies again to thank me for the review that I wrote about the café on their Facebook page.
I ended up sharing the fuwa-fuwa with the huku cafe staff; that’s when I discovered that instead of the 赤ぶどうマーブルマーチaka-budoh mahburu mahchi (red-grape marble march) that I’d ordered, there was the soy milk-vanilla that I had last time with the new 豆乳チャイtohnyuu-chai (soy milk-chai).
The soy milk-chai had a subtle flavor of chai and less sweet and moist than the soy milk vanilla but still fluffy and tasty, going well with the coffee that I was served on the house.
Update: Almost a month later, I made it to Shiori Shiori for lunch before heading into work. There were several parties when I arrived at noon and Morimi-tencho was manning the café by herself although she had just hired a new part-time worker; however, she still greeted me warmly and would talk to me (as well as the other customers on the first floor) every so often between her work. I decided to sit at the counter today because I wouldn’t be able to stay long. There was a nice breeze coming through the open windows and doors and the stool chairs were comfortable and perfect for dangling my legs.
I ordered the chicken cutlet meal again (I just can’t get enough of it!) which came in a box for lunch. Since it was a bit warm outside despite the cool breeze and I was a bit hot from my walk from 二条駅Nijo Station, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to finally order the アサイー釀清水asaii kamoshimizu, an acai-flavored cold drink made from 甘糀amakouji, or sweet malted rice, ￥650.
Healthy and tasty, instead of tasting like amazake which I don’t like much, it reminded me of 식혜shikhye, a sweet rice drink that I like in Korea…I’m interested in trying all the flavors that they have, especially the fruity ones.
Along with the にこにこやきniko-niko-yaki (“baked smilies”) cookies, there are now マルチーズmaru-chiizu (“round cheese”) cookies. I couldn’t resist getting a package of the cheese which contained three kinds: プレーン・バジル・ブラックペッパーplain, basil & black-pepper, especially after Morimo-tencho gave me a taste of the basil one which tasted more like a savory cracker than a sweet cookie…I also got the new cake, おからんころんo-karan-koron which means “clip-clop”, ￥100 less at ￥350 when you take it to go.
Made with okara from 山科Yamashina’s 薬師食品Yakushi Shokuhin (no flour), cocoa powder, eggs and almond and chock-full of fiber, Morimo-tencho says the o-karan-koron is pretty dense and moist, best eaten cold…sounded a bit like a gâteau au chocolat to me.
But when I had it later that night, I saw why she told me to have plenty to drink with it. Although moist and tasty, it had a texture that gave away the fiber in it, you know what I mean? Next time I want to have it at the café…this is how it would look (I personally borrowed this picture from Morimi-tencho):
Update: Over a month later, I woke up early to the heat and an air conditioner that wouldn’t work, so I left home earlier than usual to get some air-conditioning. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to go to Shiori Shiori. Since I had plenty of time, I walked there…I was the first customer and greeted warmly by Morimi-tencho. The reserved but kind-looking wife of the owner was on staff, so Morimi-tencho introduced us. After I sat at the table looking out at the garden on the first floor (my first time), she informed me that a friend of mine had come recently; from what I could gather, it sounded like Ryo! She said the two of them spent a long time complimenting me to death…aww, I have no words for honored I am to hear that.☺
While they prepared the food, I checked out the display case…there were more o-karan-koron now (and not many fuwa-fuwa, at least not the day that I went).
clockwise from top left: 紫芋murasaki-imo (purple sweet potato), チョコレートchocolate, ココアcocoa, 黒蜜kuromitsu (brown-sugar syrup) and 抹茶maccha (green tea)
There were ceramic tableware on the shelves near the entrance…due to some imperfections, they were being sold for￥200. From an amateur’s eye, they looked too good to be ￥200.
Because my meal took longer to arrive due to technical problems, I was given a glass of lemongrass tea: very refreshing after my walk.
I ordered my usual which is now called 旨塩麹京地どりカツおばんざいごはんuma-shiokoji Kyo-jidori katsu obanzai gohan (“delicious” shiokoji-flavored Kyoto-raised chicken cutlet Kyoto-style meal)…Morimo-tencho that they’re using different chicken meat which is juicier than that from before. Sadly, I couldn’t tell the difference; my having enjoyed it more was because I’d been craving it for a while?
I had the 赤ぶどうaka-budou (red-grape) kamoshimizu this time and although I hadn’t planned on getting a cake, I changed my mind when I saw the options and got the purple sweet-potato one. It goes without saying that both the drink and cake was good…the cake was the same texture as the first o-karan-koron that I had and there was also red beans baked inside to make for some interesting texture.
It was hard pulling myself away to go to work, especially with the heat waiting outside for me. I think I’ll try the curry next time, and some more kamoshimizu and o-karan-koron.☺
Update: Five days later, I was back with Mason to have an early lunch before she went to pick up Judith’s successor. The lunch menu wasn’t available yet, so we had curry…Mason got the regular one while I got the とりカツカレーtori-katsu kareh (chicken-cutlet curry), ￥1080, which came with salad.
The curry was more like Japanese curry but yet not entirely so…it was delicious, even made more so by the chicken cutlet.
I talked Mason into getting some kamoshimizu; I got the mango flavor while she got acai.
Mason liked.☺ We stayed long enough to get free cold tea (Morimi-san was manning the place alone again, so it was for slower service).
Address: 京都府京都市中京区竹屋町通小川東入ル東竹屋町422 Kyoto-fu. Kyoto-shi. Nakakyo-ku. Takeyacho-dori. Ogawa Higashi-hairu. Higashi Takeya-cho 422
Telephone number: 075-221-6699
Access: 地下鉄烏丸線丸太町駅から466m from Subway Karasuma Line Marutamachi Station…no parking available but there are several car parks nearby.
Business Hours: 11:00am~7:00pm (take-out available)