This past weekend, I decided to drop by kiln cafe before heading home after an afternoon with Nana and Junko since it was still early. I had seen coverage on the place in a magazine recently and was interested enough to put it on my list of cafes to try.
According to the map it was in the area close behind 京都マルイKyoto Marui along 木屋町通Kiyamachi Street. I went to the street on which フランソア喫茶室Salon de thé FRANÇOIS is and going south I found the 村上重ビルMurakamiju Bldg. that it’s in with no problem (it helped there was a helpful sign outside as well). kiln cafe is the café under kiln, a restaurant that seems to specialize in Western fusion cuisine, especially based on French cuisine, on the second floor of the same building.
The black sliding door opened automatically and I stepped into a foyer area with an elevator to the right and a staircase to the left…the dimly-lit café space was ahead and would have been more moody if the side of the café that looks on to Kiyamachi Street wasn’t all glass letting in the late-afternoon sunshine. The interior’s color theme as well as mood kind of reminded me of Sentido‘s and definitely of the object after which the cafe (and of course the restaurant) is named. There is only one huge wooden table with stools that accomodates customers that visit and there were three parties already there…I took a seat on a stool close to the exit to the building for parking next door. The male staff (I think he was in charge, don’t know if he was the owner, though) kindly brought me a big basket in which to put my things and once I got situated, he brought me the menu although most of everything seemed to be written on blackboards above the kitchen.
I was still full from lunch and dessert earlier, so I just got the 木屋町ブレンドKiyamachi blend, ￥450, which came with a small portion of dried fruits and brownie.
It was definitely a good choice because it had the deep flavor I like in coffee and easy to drink no matter the temperature, not to mention the color was pretty. With soft music as the BGM and the simple yet stylish environment made it easy to relax or work on something. When it was about time for me to go, I knew I’d want to come back again soon, so easy when work is close by.
Before leaving I had a chance to talk to the staff, a young female staff member who I didn’t notice when I arrived as well as the staff member who waited on me, when I told them I wanted to write about them in my blog; they said they’d be happy if I did and was looking forward to reading about it, so here it is.☺
Outside where I know now to be the front of the café is a terrace space along 高瀬川Takase River but I don’t think anyone would want to be sitting outside for a long time now when it’s this cold.
Update: Three days later I was back to have some coffee and get organized after lunch before work. When I arrived there was only one customer who appeared to be non-Japanese but maybe a regular of kiln…I found him in conversation (in Japanese) with probably a female staff of kiln when I came back from the restroom and from what I could hear, he might be on staff at 立命館Ritsumeikan.
Anyway, only the manager (the male staff from last time) was on hand…he recommended インドネシアマンデリンIndonesia Mandheling, ￥450, when I asked for a recommendation for dark-roast coffee, so I got that and the 生チョコのブラウニーnama-choko no buraunii (raw-chocolate brownie), ￥380, that I wanted to try last time but for which I was too full. The aromatically pleasing coffee was so easy to drink and the best complement for my sweet brownie filled with walnuts and topped with white chocolate, coconut and dried berry bits. I gave the manager a thumbs-up at which he smiled, pleased.
According to the coffee canisters at the front counter, the coffee here is from CIRCUS COFFEE, the same place that supplies kàtte with their coffee. Water seems to be self-serve, from a stylish glass dispenser at the front.
the view from my seat
I was so pleased with the coffee that I got another to go: フィリピナスフェアトレードPhilpinas Fairtrade, ￥450, another recommendation, one of the single-origin coffee available for the day, from the manager.
The manager told me that the female staff had checked out my blog and was now interested in trying 喫茶マグmag (yay!). He saw me to the door again, just like last time.☺
Update: Over two weeks later, Fumie-san was all for trying kiln cafe after lunch at K620. When we arrived there were two parties which means almost half the table was full; we sat at the end of my favorite side of the table, the side that faces the kitchen area, closer to the back entrance. The manager and the female staff member from my first visit were on hand and they greeted me brightly which means they still remembered me.
I explained to Fumie-san what I knew about the coffee and she ended up ordering the Kiyamachi blend and a scone, ￥350, while I got a カフェラテcaffè latte, ￥480, and the brownie…our drinks came with a bit of dried fruits and tiny cookies on one plate for the two of us.
We gave each other a taste of what we ordered; I admit I experienced some food envy after tasting Fumie-san’s Earl-Grey and chocolate scone which came with 金柑kinkan (kumquat) jam…I had it without the jam but Fumie-san said she preferred it without the jam. She liked my brownie and thought it was more like chocolate than anything. The crumbly cookies that accompanied our drinks were surprisingly good.
We ended up staying several hours which gave us opportunity to order another drink: I got green tea latte, ￥480, while Fumie-san got a cappuccino (not pictured)…we got another plate of dried fruits and brownies this time.
My green tea latte wasn’t sweet at all but I didn’t add sugar because I liked it just the way it was (guess I’ve outgrown sweet coffee now). The bitterness of the green tea and the creamy milk was a good combination.
Next time, I’m going to get the scone.☺
Update: Over three weeks later, I decided to drop by kiln coffee for some coffee and sweets before going into work; it was raining and I wanted to stay close by. When I arrived there was no one there and a young male staff member was assisting the manager. I was surprised to see that there was no longer a communal table but several smaller tables and a counter seating now, made from cutting up the former table about which I was kind of sad. After deciding on a seat at the counter, a tourist couple and their baby whom I passed on my way to the café dropped in as well.
I ordered ダージリン&チョコ&金柑のスコーンDarjeeling & chocolate & kinkan (kumquat) scone, ￥380, that Fumie-san got last time and a caffè latte. The scone is pretty crispy, more like the British scones that Maki likes; I’ll have to recommend them to her sometime.
I’ll definitely be sitting at the counter when I want to be left alone but I wouldn’t mind sitting at one of the smaller tables sometime as well. While paying, I noticed some baked goodies at the counter and I couldn’t resist taking the デコポンとライムのシトロンパイdekopon to raimu no shitoron pai (orange & lime lemon pie), ￥500…it was a rich yet refreshing eat.
Update: kiln cafe is now going by “KILN COFFEESHOP”. The chairs at the small tables are now cushioned to urge one to stay longer.
More goodies to be had here:
* avocado & tuna melt hot sandwich, ￥800, when I was out doing café runs with Melissa
Address: 〒600-8019 京都市下京区西木屋町四条下ル船頭町Kyoto-shi. Shimokyo-ku. Nishi-Kiyamachi Shijo-sagaru Sendo-cho 194 村上重ビルMurakamiju Bldg. 2F
Telephone number: 075-353-3555
Access: 阪急河原町駅から徒歩1分minute by foot from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station or 京阪祇園四条駅から徒歩5分minutes by foot from Keihan Gion Shijo Station
Business hours: 11:00am-8:00pm
Cafe holiday: Wednesday
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kilnrestaurant