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Dal+Poo Café and Art Gallery [Closed]

A Mediterranean Island in a sea of Machiyas

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The location on this page has been reported permanently closed.

Last updated: Aug 4, 2020

Dal + Poo is a Mediterranean Island in a sea of Machiyas, where you can feel the calm of European classical music, French and Italian cuisine, a light and airy art gallery, and some lazy books lying on the counter that you can while an afternoon with, should you ever be templed out. If you are feeling cold, just burrow one of the neatly folded blankets, just like you would at home.

In this neighborhood lined with traditional Japanese buildings, it is a pleasant surprise to see this modern white and blue building, with lots of pot plants and other touches reminiscent of a holiday house on the South Coast of France. Actually the name is a cross between Dalmatian and Poodle, though the only dogs here are those painted in the gallery above.

In its own way it pays tribute to Japanese sensitivities, with its amazing vegetarian dishes complementing the Kyoto tradition for Sansai, a Japanese word for mountain vegetables which are foraged in the wild rather than farmed, like bamboo shoots or mushrooms in season.

I chose the 1,000 yen set lunch menu, which has gratin potatoes and bacon, a mini green salad, brown rice and a delightful Ratatouille. All very delicious and easy to eat, just like your mother's cooking, not to mention healthy and very colorful.

They also serve omelet sandwiches, freshly baked focaccia, and curry rice. From 500 to 750 yen you can have 100% fresh mandarin juice, green tea latte, apple soda, sparkling Apple Juice, Dutch beer, various kinds of coffee or tea including espresso, Royal Milk Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Earl Grey Assam, French Relax, Canadian Morning. I have never heard of the last two varieties before, I am almost tempted to come back to try them with their quirky names.

The menu may be in Japanese, but with cute watercolors of most menu items it is easy to know what you are eating. And if you are adventurous, why not let the owner decide for you. The menu selection itself is fairly limited given the shoebox like kitchen, but everything they do is immaculate.

The watercolor theme carries through in the simple almost childlike paintings of domesticated animals and still life, all dotted around the café and upstairs in the art gallery. The pictures themselves celebrate life in a whimsical way, like a circus or in a children’s fantasy book. This is a great place to stroll before or after your meal.

As there are only ten chairs in the whole café, a large group can have the place to themselves, or it is intimate enough to go over and chat with your neighboring diners, which I did with the resident Italian artist. Maybe it was his scooter in the courtyard, it all adds to the Mediterranean feel of the place.

Dal + Poo is located on a nondescript residential street about 3 blocks south west of the Nishijin Textile Museum, and about 3 minutes north east of the nearby Tondaya.


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