If you are walking around Kawaramachi Station, you might notice there is a spot where people lining up almost every day in a week. I have never interested in lining only for eating – for me there are a lot of places out there offering similar food to be enjoyed without have to struggle waiting. But then Japanese students from Niigata told me what place it is.
Maccha House is the name of the place. It sells variety of matcha (green tea) products – start from basic tea drinks to parfaits to their most popular item: matcha tiramisu. Kyoto is famous for its matcha and if Japanese are lining up for matcha in this place, it means it is really a good one. It was not until I was told about this place by my Japanese students from Niigata that I tempted to try. The Japanese students from Niigata were really tempted to try the tiramisu but didn’t have enough time during their study trip in Kyoto. As a Kyoto citizen, to not try the cafe that everyone from other parts of Japan really want to visit almost makes me feel like guilty.
I decided to pay a visit to Maccha House one late afternoon. I had to line up for 2 hours before finally got my seat. When entering the cafe, I ordered my choice of food and drink at the first floor, paid the fee, then went upstairs where they provide the seats. The cafe is quite small, with only 24 people inside at maximum. At my first visit I was with Muthi and two others. I and Muthi ordered Matcha Tiramisu set (850¥). The set comes with one choice of drink. I picked Morihan Maccha “Tomo-no-mori”, while Muthi picked Iced Matcha. The others ordered Chocolate Matcha drink (700¥) and Maccha House Parfait (900¥).
We scooped our first bite of tiramisu while thinking whether our 2 hours of waiting was worth it or not. And apparently, it is.
The matcha tiramisu was so soft yet has intense matcha flavor in it. Our two other friends – one is a parfait expert and one is a picky eater – said both of their order was also delicious. The most important thing is that all the food has intense matcha, yet it is in a comfort bitterness level that we can enjoyed. However, I made a mistake by ordering Morihan Maccha as a drink to accompany the tiramisu. The bitterness of Morihan Maccha caused a double-bitter taste when combined with Matcha Tiramisu. Muthi was better with Iced Matcha, she put liquid sugar to reduce the bitterness – even though it was quite bitter, still.
Learning from my first visit experience, on my second visit, I decided to order something else. This time, I had to line up for almost 3 hours (!). At that time, I ordered new menu: Houji-cha tiramisu, while letting my Tokyo-friend tried the Matcha version. I chose Sen-cha as a drink, hoping it will not cause double-bitterness like I had before.
Houji-cha is my favorite Japanese tea of all time, and having it modified as a tiramisu is really interesting. The Houji-cha tiramisu was sweet yet bitter, a different kind of bitter from matcha tiramisu. My Sen-cha was one of a kind: it tasted salty. The water was yellowish with some sprinkle of green from the pieces of tea leaves, make it looked so luxurious. However, I cannot say I love the taste of Sen-cha. Having a sweet-bitter dessert with a salty drink is quite too-much-taste-happening-in-my-mouth moment for me.
Next time, I probably should just order Orange Juice instead.
604-8026 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 河原町通四条上ル米屋町382‐2
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 AM – 9 PM, Saturday & Sunday 10 AM – 10 PM
Wi-fi: Not Available
Electrical outlet: Not Available
Average spend: 1000¥/person