Run by a reserved and kind couple with roots in art, Ital Gabon is a stylishly homey café in a roji around the 河原町丸太町Kawaramachi Marutamachi intersection, parallel to 河原町通Kawaramachi Street. The place had been recommended to me by Hasegawa-san (she recommended the espresso-based coffee from 二三味珈琲Nizami Coffee in 石川県Ishikawa Prefecture and pasta) and Iori-san and although they allow smoking, I wanted to go sometime.
That day came in mid-May this year when I suggested going there for lunch to Fumie-san; she’d never been there before much less heard of it, so she was eager to go as well. I met Fumie-san there after getting off work; when I arrived, Fumie-san was waiting outside for a table to open.
the subdued green exterior which meshes naturally with the homes around it on the same small street
the front of the café including the register area connected to the kitchen
the view of the length of the café from our table by the front window
our table, probably my favorite seat
I love panini sandwiches, so it’s no surprise I wanted to try the 生ハムと茄子とチーズの焼きたてパニーニnama-hamu to nasu to chiizu no yakitate paniini (prosciutto ham, eggplant & cheese grilled panini), ￥980, which comes with salad.
The panini sandwich was toasted perfectly and there’s no way one could go wrong with the combination of ingredients in it; I planned on coming back soon to have some more again before half the sandwich was through.☺
After my meal I had カフェラテcaffè latte, ￥50 more with the panini and which comes only iced, and 半生ガトーショコラhan-nama gatoh shokora (half-baked gâteau au chocolat), ￥460.
Not only was the presentation unique, the texture reminded me of chocolate and cake at the same time, very interesting. The caffè latte was smooth and so easy to drink that I finished more quickly than I would have liked.
Besides the allowance of smoking, I have no complaints about Ital Gabon. Fumie-san and I agreed on leaving that we’d like to come back again.
And that I did, less than two months later after work in the evening…this time I chose a one-seater in the middle of the café. Last time I had decided to come back for the カマンベールのチーズケーキCamembert cheesecake, ￥460, and that’s what I got with カフェラテcaffè latte, ￥400 (￥100 off with sweets). The Camembert cheese flavor made the cheesecake richer and although I don’t crave baked cheesecake, this was definitely a yummy eat! When I complimented the cheesecake on my way out, the owner wife who has a cool low-toned voice recognized me just from my voice!☺
Two weeks later, I suggested lunch at Ital Gabon when Nana came down to Kyoto and she agreed to the idea. When I arrived, Nana had already been waiting for a while at a two-seater in the back.
I ordered the panini again, the contents bacon, sliced tomato & basil this time, and had an アイスアメリカノiced Americano after the meal with the 生チョコタルトnama-choko taruto (raw-chocolate tart), ￥450, while Nana also had the panini and a 有機栽培グレープフルーツyuuki-saibai gurehpufuruutsu100%ジュースjuusu (100% organically-produced grapefruit juice) and the half-baked gâteau au chocolat after the meal.
The sandwich was yet again excellent, the chocolate tart was rich with a yummy crust. and the iced Americano was refreshing on such a hot day. Nana was also pleased with the meal and dessert and hopes to drop by again when she makes it into Kyoto.
Definitely a recommendation for those wanting to have a good light meal and/or coffee in a relaxed atmosphere until a later hour (although orders stop at 9:00pm, they’re open until 10:00).