I first heard about ヱントツコーヒー舎Entotsu Coffee-sha (entotsu means “chimney”), which started in late May of this year, from Mica-san and asked her to take me there someday…when we met in early August, she granted my wish by dropping by with me in the late afternoon.
Being close to ひだまりHidamari Entotsu Coffee-sha was quite easy to find although one might pass the charming narrow entrance to the café without noticing it if there weren’t signs and examples of the menu outside. I expected to walk straight into the café, not a dim alleyway…the exterior is actually modeled after the Leaky Cauldron from the Harry Potter series but unfortunately not familiar with the series, I was unable to figure it out myself.
Right upon entering, there is a door to the まぼろし探偵社Maboroshi Tanteisha, or “The Phantom Detective Agency”; one can arrange to meet a detective by making an appointment through the café, otherwise one will probably never see the agents. The agency kindly lends its quarters to be used as the restroom of the café.😉
The narrow tunnel, or should I say path, to the café is called まぼろし小路Maboroshi-koji; it is said that 安倍清明Abe no Seimei, a 平安時代Heian period 陰陽師onmyohji (sorcerer) escaped into this alleyway and tricked his antagonists with illusions, thus the name. As one approach the door to the café, I recommend looking up and around, because there are plenty of details worthy of attention like the entrance to an elevator, an old Japanese-style metal address sign and windows of second floors that make you believe you’re really in a mysterious alleyway like Diagon Alley in London. The sky can be seen on the ceiling and by changing the lighting, the sky changes colors with the time of the day.☺ Yeah, I can understand it taking about a year and a half to prepare for business.
When we walked in, there was a young female customer at the two-seater table in the middle of the café…besides the counter seating for three in the back, the only table was the four-seater near the door and that’s where we chose to sit.
the view of the door, the kitchen and the register from the middle of the narrow café…the loft is where coffee roasting takes place, reached by the ladder on the wall.
the counter seating and bookcase in the back
There is a subtle amount of cat decor throughout the café, a haven for stray cats.☺
Mica-san has been by the café a few times before we went together, so the gentle and friendly owners were familiar with her. Since we had been to two establishments (Shijo Omiya Yaisoヤオイソ四条大宮店 and 精養軒Seiyoken) before arriving, according to Mica-san’s suggestion, we shared a generous portion of NY チーズケーキcheesecake, ￥500, which came with ice cream while she had an アイスコーヒーiced coffee, ￥550, and I had the ヱントツブレンドEntotsu blended coffee, ￥500.
Everything was just wonderful and the magically peaceful environment served for the perfect place to converse some more with Mica-san. I vowed to be back as soon as possible.
That day came about two weeks later when I dropped by at the end of one of my café runs. I decided to have the いちごチーズケーキichigo (strawberry) cheesecake, ￥600, and coffee made from マンデリンセブンステラMandheling Seven Stellas beans, ￥650. The NY cheesecake was yummy but the strawberry cheesecake with its Oreo-chocolate-cookie crust and light-pink tinted cake topped with pieces of strawberries is my idea of an ideal cheesecake.
Since I was the only customer for the time I was there, I got to talk to the owners, Ken-san and Maru-san, who worked in Tokyo (totally different field of work) for years before coming to Kyoto, Ken-san’s hometown. Ken-san is in charge of coffee while Maru-san is in charge of the food. I told them I’d be back to have the ナポリタン(スープ付) napolitan (with soup), ￥850, for the first time, typical fare in traditional Japanese coffee shops.
I went back for the napolitan a week and a half later. Napolitan is usually made with ketchup and slices of green pepper, dried red chili pepper and sausage. It was very flavorful and filling and the cold pumpkin soup that came with it was chockfull of natural pumpkin flavor but gentle to balance out the powerful punch of flavor in the napolitan. I had iced coffee (￥100 off with a meal) and it was a light and refreshing flavor, perfect for the hot day. Ken-san said that it’s usually stronger, so I requested that he make it that way when I came next. This day, Ken-san and Maru-san’s former colleague dropped by the café with her mother, both of them visiting from different parts of Japan…soon after they left, a couple came in, so I didn’t have the place to myself but I left just as satisfied as last time.
Three days ago when Melissa joined me on one of my café runs, I chose Entotsu Coffee-sha as one of the places to introduce to her. At my suggestion and description of the strawberry cheesecake, she ordered it along with a コーヒーフロートcoffee float, ￥650, while I also got the strawberry cheesecake with iced coffee…since Ken-san promised to make it stronger for me the next time I come, that’s how I got it this time.☺
When I pointed out that Ken-san did the coffee roasting in the loft, she asked him if he had ever fallen off the ladder…Ken-san has never fallen but he said Maru-san fell off a normal ladder when they were getting the place ready for opening and broke his arm😢.
Melissa was very pleased with the café and made sure to put it in her places for Google Maps so she could find it again before we went to our next destination. This place is definitely a gem!💖
Update: Almost three weeks later, I went to Entotsu with Ryo and Haruna and we ordered both cheesecakes between the three of us and Ryo got the Entotsu blended coffee while I had iced coffee again…they were impressed with both the ambience and nourishment that we had. Ken saw us out when we left and he kindly explained about the making of the exterior when Ryo asked.
Almost a month later, I asked Rika to meet me at Entotsu for dinner. She arrived before me and was the only customer when I arrived. I introduced Rika to Ken-san and Maru-san after which everyone was comfortable enough to chit-chat when possible.
I got the オムライス（スープ付）omurice with soup, ￥850, which I had planned before coming and バリアラビカ神山Bali Arabica Shinzan coffee and Rika got ボロネーゼBolognese spaghetti, ￥850, which also came with soup and a very mild アイスカフェオレiced café au lait, ￥600, by Rika’s request (she’s just beginning to drink coffee).
Ken-san presented me with an iced coffee made with a different roast of Shinzan beans that he was thinking of serving next. Since I was full, I forwent dessert but Rika got the new dessert, Crème au caramelタルト風プディング, ￥650.
Rika gave me a taste; it was basically a crème brûlée on top of a pie crust, very good since I like crème brûlée. Needless to say, Rika also went away a pleased customer with the intention of coming again.☺
Address: 京都府京都市上京区佐竹町Kyoto-fu. Kyoto-shi. Kamigyo-ku. Satake-cho 110-2
Telephone number: 075-464-5323
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Access: 北野白梅町駅徒歩15分minutes by foot from Kitano Hakubaicho Station or バス停千本今出川徒歩5分minutes by foot from bus stop Senbon Imadegawa
Café holiday: Wednesday
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CafeEntotsu/