SONGBIRD COFFEE is a café produced by Masaki Tokuda Design. on the second floor of the SONGBIRD DESIGN STORE. where “lifestyle tools” are also displayed for sale (the third floor is where the furniture is at). The café serves coffee with beans specially roasted for the café from famous coffee roasters: かもがわカフェKamogawa Café and 六曜社Rokuyosha in Kyoto, 吉岡コーヒーYoshioka Coffee in 名古屋Nagoya and SHERPA COFFEE in 岐阜県Gifu Prefecture…they even have their own original tea blend of butter scotch, strawberry and pineapple (sounds yummy!).
After lunch at THE GRAVY in early June 2013, Maki and I were looking for ひだまりHidamari which was supposed to be close by (after looking it up, now I know that it’s definitely not) to have dessert and drinks but since we’re both houkou-onchi, we ended up at SONGBIRD east of 堀川通Horikawa Street, on 竹屋町通Takeyacho Street.
clean and simple design…if one comes by bike, you can park it in the back under the café.
the stairs that leads up to the café and store
the area near the stairs, including the kitchen
the area in the back
Maki and I sat at a two-seater by the window looking out at the river along 堀川通Horikawa Street.
Maki had the バナナとチーズのテリーヌbanana to chiizu no teriinu (banana & cheese terrine) with ホットティーhot tea for ￥1000.
I got the French toast, ￥700, and アイスティーiced tea, ￥550.
The French toast usually comes with fresh cream but since I’m not one for fresh cream, I asked for them to leave it out. Made with big slices of baguette, it was crisp and chewy, the kind of French toast I like. The iced tea was also quite good, exactly what I needed after getting lost and a bit hot. We gave each other a taste of our orders and Maki also thought the French toast was good; the terrine was creamy and rich, pretty good for anyone who’s in the mood for cheesecake.
In early August this year, before meeting Mason for the evening, I dropped by SONGBIRD for some lunch. Where a big table had been was now taken up by a small boxed area filled with goods on sale; I sat behind that box at the seat that Maki and I had occupied when we’d come the year before.
I ordered the SONGBIRD COFFEE.チキンカレーchicken curry, ￥900, plus a lunch drink (I got アイスカフェラテiced caffè latte) for an extra ￥200…I’d been wanting to try this ever since learning of the cafe.
As one can see, it’s arranged to look like a bird’s nest with a mound of rice over which a sweet and savory curry is poured, then topped with fried onions and finished off with a soft-boiled egg…I took so long in taking pictures (only a minute or two, though) that the egg slid down!☺ The curry was delicious and quite filling, especially because I took my time eating it (it was officially cold before I finished it). The caffè latte was also smooth and easy to drink.
Besides being hot from my walk at first and the boxed area blocking the air conditioning, I had a very pleasant stay of about two hours reading books and magazines on Kyoto. The staff were young women (I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still students) but really sweet. I’m going to have to swing by again sometime soon.☺
Update: About four months since the last time I wrote, I went to SONGBIRD for dinner after coffee at cafe de Corazón before making it back home. It was a hard decision when 栞栞カフェShiori Shiori Cafe and culotte were options being in the area as well but I had been craving SONGBIRD’s curry for some time (this is the image that had been running through my mind), so that’s where I found myself. There was only one staff member on hand and I was the only customer for a short while upon arrival, so I took the liberty to take pictures.
the boxed area with goods on sale that I mentioned last time
I sat at the same table with the pink seat as I always have. This time, I was offered an option of salad or (granola-topped) yogurt with my curry; I chose yogurt. Since I had coffee already, I ordered カップティー(アールグレイ)kappu-tii (Ahru Gurei) (cup of Earl Grey tea), ￥500, to accompany my meal.
Boy, did I do a good job in ordering! My craving for curry was definitely satisfied and a yummy concoction of spiciness it was, better accentuating the flavor of my tea. The plain yogurt topped with subtly-sweet granola was an ideal way to finish my curry, like a lassi after curry. I wanted no more for the rest of the night.