In Search of … the Craic Part 5
This is the fifth and final part of a series of posts on Kyoto’s Irish pubs. Earlier this month my friend David Ewen and I went on a pub crawl of five Irish pubs in Kyoto to see what they had to offer in terms of food, beer, music and the craic. Tonight’s post is on…
Gnome opened in October 2007, which makes it the newest Irish pub in town. It’s also my favorite. I like the cosy, home-like atmosphere and I might be just imagining things but I think the Guinness tastes best here too. Yuko, the owner is a friendly, chatty, charming lady of many talents; musical, culinary and professional. She already had her own business before opening Gnome, and in addition to managing an accessory and craft shop upstairs from the pub, she also does all the cooking downstairs as well! The menu is wonderful. I love the colcannon – a simple dish of cabbage, potatoes, butter and pepper. Yuko gets the balance just right and served up with the best soda bread I’ve tasted in Kyoto it’s just lovely. “How is it you make such great soda bread?” I asked her. Turns out she gets the oatmeal from Ireland. Yuko loves cooking and pays a lot of attention to her ingredients; the water is from Kyushu and packed with healthy minerals and the vegetables are organic. There are a lot of vegetarian options on the menu too. Yuko and her husband are both musicians and played together in a rock band in the past covering artists like The Band and Neil Young. However, on a visit to Ireland five or six years ago they fell in love with Irish music and also with the warm and friendly atmosphere of Irish pubs. Now Gnome’s interestingly eclectic live music schedule reflects their varied musical tastes. You can see a short video of a recent performance by the band Baobab here. Here are some pictures:
Quiet during the week, Gnome gets livelier at weekends – and during musical events, you can’t move! The clientele is varied too: families, musicians, salarymen and sometimes foreign chaps like me. Why the name? Well, Gnome is in the basement and gnomes as you know live underground. Gnome is situated a short walk north of Oike on the west side of Kawaramachi in the basement of the SSS building. Look out for the yellow sign. Here is a handy map.
Happy Hour:ã€€17:00~20:00 (unless there are events)