1. Patisserie Gion Sakai
If you like good dessert and nice place as much as I do, this place is a must! Gion Sakai is located strategically in Gion main street which is called Hanamikoji Dori. When you step in you will be greeted warmly by their friendly staff. The first floor is where a beautiful and mouthwatering selections of cakes are displayed. Don’t forget to look to your right, where you will find an array of cookies packed beautifully. If you buy any of their products, you will
be allowed to go upstairs and use their dining room. Which only consist of 3 tables overlooking the beautifully and bustling street of Hanamikoji Dori. I suggest you to come early if you want to secure a place here.
On this occasion, I got to try some of their best seller cakes, namely : matcha (green tea) mousse (500 yen exclude tax). A soft and chewy matcha brownie layered with thick matcha mousse topped with fresh raspberries and matcha powdered. This mouse serve cold and needless to say, this is definitely worth it!
Patisserie Gion Sakai
Nearest Station Gion Shijo
Type Dessert / Cake / Pattieserie
Price Range 500 – 1000 Yen per cake
Business hour Mon – Sun 11.00 – 19.00
2. Café Blue Fir Tree
I had to admit that is café has a rather eccentric name even for Japanese. This café is easily miss able because it is located on the ground floor of xxx building. From the outside, it may not look tempting. But worry not, because once you are inside, you will be bewildered by its romantic ambience and laid back atmosphere. Never thought a building ground floor can turn out this good.
This café is specialized with thick fluffy pancake that comes in different shapes and toppings. I had the chance to try one their special limited edition menu. Mango Star Pancake (850 yen exclude tax). As the name suggest, a thick pancake served with vanilla ice cream, mango syrup, and star jellies. And to make the cuteness overload, they also sprinkled some start dust (sugar and edible chocolate ball). Regardless of its thickness, pancake is so very fluffy (me likey!), and vanilla ice cream is also one of the best because of I could really taste the vanilla bean and creaminess. I do hope they want to sell me their ice cream in the tube tho XD.
Café Blue Fir Tree
Nearest Station Gion Shijo
Type Pancake Ice Cream
Price Range 700 – 1000 Yen / pancake
Business hour Tues – Sun 09.00 – 19.00
3. Gion Tsujiri
Tsujiri is an extremely popular matcha brand in Kyoto. They make everything matcha, from matcha ice crea, drinks, cakes, biscuits etc (you name it). They have various branches within Kyoto itself. But I have to admit that they do make a really good matcha related products at a very reasonable price. As a result, they are always packed with tourist and local alike. It may be a bit harder to be noticed by tourist, because their shops are always written in Kanji辻利 (Read: Tsujiri).
This time, I had a chance to visit Tsujiri shop in Gion. It is almost always crowded, especially because I visited that shop in the weekend near to the hanami (flower viewing) season in Japan. When I managed to enter the shop, I was greeted and taken to my seat. I tried their Matcha Parfait and warabi mochi (Kyoto specialized dessert mochi)
Matcha Parfait. I think it’s about 850 yen exclude tax. Can’t remember the exact price, but I remember that this taste heavenly good! I have tried so many matcha parfaits in Kyoto and believe me when I say this one is good! It has strong matcha taste but without the overwhelming bitterness. For the ingredients, it has red bead, matcha brownie, matcha jellies, mocha, and topped with sweet potato cream. Yumz! I am not a big fan of Warabi Mochi, mainly because of the taste.
Gion Tsujiri – Gion
Nearest Station Gion Shijo
Type Matcha Dessert / Parfait
Price Range 700 – 1000 Yen
Business hour Mon – Sun 11.00 – 22.00
This one is located in a secluded place. When I say secluded, I meant it is located on top of a mountain in northern Kyoto. Yup, you do have to hike a hill to reach this phenomenal place. Mo’an is set up on a renovated old temple. But don’t let the journey let you down, because once you reach this place, I guarantee you, it will be worth it! This place is popular among locals and university students, especially Kyoto University, because of its food and ambience. People usually put their name on the waiting list even before they open!
From the outside, Mo’an looks like an old temple. The first floor is their cosy waiting room and kitchen. Second floor is their actual dining area. If there is only 2 / 3 people max in your party, you can opt to seat on the window seat overviewing Kyoto city. If you have more people in the party, you can always seat on their homey sofa.
Food wise, They serve both Japanese food (和食)and Pita bread with various filling. In this visit, I had chance to tried their Pita bread set (1500 yen exclude tax) which comes with a salad, 2 pita bread, soup of the day and a drink. For Pita bread, I opted for their mozzarella and tomato as well as Pita bread with pork slice. Orange juice for the drink. Needless to say, I was sold at my first bite! The pita bread was soft, freshly baked with a very nice seasoning (I think it was a blend of sesame oil, olive oil, black pepper, and salt). It was simply one of the best restaurants in Kyoto that serve you something different.
Nearest Station Demachiyanagi Station (near Kyoto University)
Type Café / Restaurant
Price Range 1000 – 1500 Yen
Business hour Mon – Sun 10.00 – 18.00