Jun. 17, 2019 UPDATE

Kyoto’s Energizing Lunches: Cha-cafe wa

Let's go get a pick me up lunch with the editing team!
Yumemi[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Hi everyone! 

From now on the members of Sharing Kyoto’s editing team are going to be putting out reports on the best places in Kyoto in our “Kyoto-no-Ehmon” series!

Abe was in charge of this week’s lunch which was on the theme of “energizing lunches,” so we all left the office and headed to one of her favorite cafes, Cha-cafe wa!

This week’s café choice is run by an owner who holds a qualification in Chinese medicinal tea blending. Cha-cafe wa is the amalgamation of the owner's qualification, his original Chinese medicinal tea blends, and real therapeutic curry.

All their dishes contain seasonal vegetables, some of which are grown by the owner's spouse and are entirely pesticide-free.

Every time I visit this café, I leave revitalized from their delicious vegetables and medicinal curries, so I was a little nervous taking the entire team to go and try it together. 

hot hot sunEveryone making their way to the café in the hot hot sun. It was so hot that day I felt like I was going to faint. We have to get to the restaurant and get some of energizing lunch in our bellies soon!

Sharing Kyoto teamAfter ending up on this big street, we realized it was a little far so we split up into two groups and hopped in some taxis.

Above you can see a picture of the two new recruits to the Sharing Kyoto team, Iribe and Yano eagerly awaiting their lunch while their seniors focus on trying to figure out where the café is. 


we’re finally hereAfter 10 minutes in the taxi, we’re finally here! (It was such a lovely day outside the photos have gone pure white…)

cha cafe waWhat I had my eye on was this authentic curry packed with 13 different spices, the “Yakuzen Curry” (medicinal curry).

I was so hungry that my stomach started rumbling just looking at the signboard outside.


OkayOkay, let’s go inside! (The weather was so nice letting us have this angelic looking picture )

The interiorThe interior of the café looked like this. It had the relaxed atmosphere of a Kyoto Machiya townhouse and felt super cozy.


menuFirst things first, checking the menu. Sadly the seasonal pasta wasn’t available, so we each ordered the medicinal curry, Chinese medicinal tea set, and the Raclette Cheese and pesticide-free grilled vegetable set, which wasn’t there last time I came for work. 

Everyone was so excited!

teaThe first thing to come out was the tea. The unique line up, including “Diet Tea.” “Beautiful Skin Tea.” “Stomach Wellness Tea,” “Anger Management Tea,” were a huge draw for everyone. 

We all thought it was great that you can pick a specific tea that can help with whatever you’re dealing with at that time.

Just as a side note, the beautiful skin tea was pretty popular among the female members of the team haha.


super cuteOn top of all that, the tea cup and teapot were also super cute!

Especially the cups, which all featured not only different colours but different designs too! Having everyone’s teapot and cup be different made eating together even more fun! It’s these little things that make this café great.


colourful tea cupsEveryone enjoying their tea in their neat, colourful tea cups. I also felt super relieved when everyone said, “Ah, it’s so good!” and “Wow, I feel kind of better now!”


raclette cheeseIt looks like while we were enjoying our tea, they got the raclette cheese ready. 

Using this unique (and super cool) machine, they slowly heat up the cheese, and you could slowly start smelling the aroma of the raclette.

It smelled so good that my stomach couldn’t take it anymore! Ah, I’m so hungry!! 


cheese Just as the cheese began to melt, they scraped it onto the pesticide-free grilled vegetables right in front of our eyes. It looks so good already!

You just know this is going to be eaten all up in a second!


fresh onionsThis is the final product. Inside is pesticide-free fresh onions and potatoes and on the side is toast. The onion was especially delicious. It was sweet and soft (It was so good that we got so obsessed with eating it we forgot to take photos of us eating it).


The curryAs we were obsessing over the cheese, our long-awaited curry arrived. The curry was filled with big pieces of tender chicken. We were also super impressed by the side dishes of onion soup and salad, which featured the amazing flavours of the café’s signature vegetables. 

These side dishes actually change seasonally, so every time I come here I’m always really excited to see what they have on offer.

(The curry was also too good that we forgot to take any photos of us eating it)


miyabiAnd finally, after finishing the main, came the dessert. 

The homemade desserts at Cha-cafe wa are also incredibly delicious. There are even fans of the café who come just for the desserts.

The dessert The dessert descends from on high. This week we made it all the way out here as a team, so we decided to get one of each dessert so everyone could have a little bit of each.

The desserts that we got were, custard pudding, cheese cake, vanilla ice cream, sage chiffon cake, and chocolate brownie. 

cheesecakeThey were all delicious, but my particular favourites were the cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate brownie. The vanilla ice cream featured the prominent flavour of egg and had a creamy sweetness that can only be achieved by hand made ice cream,

All in all, seriously amazing flavours you can’t get anywhere else.

YokoThis is what the chocolate loving Yoko looks like when she gets a chocolate brownie in front of her.

She fell into euphoria, saying, “The chocolate is so deliciously rich!!”


Thanks for the mealAnd that’s dessert! Thanks for the meal!

I feel like everyone’s skin is looking healthier from the medicinal curry and tea already!

I was so happy to hear everyone say things like “I feel like I just went through a detox” “The food was so good!” and “It was all medicinal, but still so easy to get down!”

We were kind of pushing it this time with eight people, but even then Cha-cafe wa gave us nothing but incredibly kind and excellent service. 

Thank you so much Cha-cafe wa!

A comment from the staff
As someone who likes medicinal foods, this was my first time eating medicinal curry. The pairing of the unique medicinal flavours with the spice of the curry was an unexpectedly good one. As I was eating, I started to sweat a little bit, and it felt like my metabolism improved. I also felt like the curry was having a real effect on my skin as well. With the Kyoto, Ohara region vegetable filled curry and five-grain rice, the meal was super healthy and scored top points for nutrition. I was honestly so happy to get to relax and enjoy a healthy meal in a relaxed Kyoto townhouse like atmosphere. This café is a little outside of downtown, but I think that it is definitely worth going to. I’m even thinking of taking my friends and going again.

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