I first saw J’aime le bleu, a bakery café that opened at the beginning of May this year, in a magazine at a café (I believe it was the summer Kyoto edition of SAVVY at HACOBU KITCHEN) this past summer; with its clean exterior, location easy for me to get to (a little south of 丸太町通Marutamachi Street, north of 竹屋町通Takeyacho Street, on 御幸町通Gokomachi Street) and wares of what looked like my ideal bread (hard yet chewy) and coffee to go with it, I wrote it down so that I could make it there sometime, whenever that would be: with the place being open only on Wednesday and the first Saturday of every month from 11:30am-3:30pm, I wouldn’t be able to go on a whim.
In early September I got up earlier than usual on my day off to head into Kyoto to finally check out J’aime le bleu. I walked over from 二条駅Nijo Station instead of getting off at 京都市役所前駅Kyoto Shiyakusho Mae Station, the closest station on my route there; when I arrived it was almost 12:30pm.
Looks like a newly built building…I likes.☺
the simple sign in front of the olive tree outside
the front of the bakery café upon walking in
the counter of bread against the wall…apparently 12:30pm was too late for getting there because half of the bread was gone.
a view of the counter where one pays and order drinks as well as the staircase and a part of the dining area upstairs
looking back at the front with a sneak peek of the seat right at the top of the staircase
looking back at the dining area in the back upstairs…
closer look of that area
a view of the cutest seats in the place, exactly where I chose to sit☺
Made from a combination of French-produced flour and natural yeast, most of the bread were hard types although they did have softer bread like brioche. I like hard types, so for a light lunch, I chose the ミルクフランスmiruku Furansu (“milk France” or milk cream-filled baguette), ￥150, and べーこんエピbacon epi bread, ￥130, to have with アイスカフェラテiced caffè latte, ￥350.
No wonder the “milk France” was recommended: the milk cream was subtly sweet and the perfect accent for the baguette which was the perfect texture; the epi was made of the same bread and went well with the bacon. I was satisfied with both my choices, so much that I went down to get another “milk France” only to find them all sold out by now, so I got the フレンチトーストFrench toast, ￥120, instead.
Made of the same yummy bread, this was pretty good, too, although I’m more partial to less sweet French toast (more egg, the better!).
J’aime le bleu is usually run by a married couple (the name comes from blue being the wife’s favorite color), the wife who graduated from Kobe’s culinary school, ル・コルドンブルーLe Cordon Bleu, in charge of baking and the husband in charge of drinks but only the soft-spoken, kind of timid husband was on hand to serve the time I was there…he kept apologizing to customers who came surprised at most of the items already being sold out by mentioning that the recent coverage of the bakery café in a magazine (probably the one I saw) had created such a situation.
I left planning to go again the next week but it didn’t work out…almost a month later, I finally went back with Fumie-san who was interested in trying their bread (she LOVES bread, especially hard types) after hearing about the place from me…we arrived a minute or so before they opened.
Since we were the first to arrive, we got first pickings (yay!).
Fumie-san looked so happy while she chose bread to take home which made me feel happy.
Fumie-san got a カプチーノcappuccino, ￥350, and the milk cream-filled bread that I had recommended to have at the café while I got the iced caffè latte again with ソーセージフランスsohsehji Furansu (sausage sandwich), ￥230, and シナモンロールcinnamon roll, ￥180.
My sausage sandwich was basically a sophisticated hot dog using the J’aime le bleu baguette I was coming to love and crave…would have it again. The cinnamon roll, however, was not as good as I was hoping being a bit dry with very little glaze and too much cinnamon that crumbled everywhere; I gave Fumie-san a taste of the cinnamon roll and she agreed. Fumie-san thought the “milk France” was great, too. I bought one to have later but ended up giving it to a friend who also said it was delicious.
Alright, I have to go in on Wednesday again soon and get that “milk France” again as well as try some other bread and finally have a hot coffee.☺