【Tokyo Cafe】Yonchome, Kouenji – reasonable prices, comfortable atmosphere and great lunch.
The orange Chuo line of the station can be seen from the large window on the wall. Sometimes it’s the yellow Sobu line. Without having even left the ticket barriers, you can catch a glimpse of it from the platform. When night descends over the district, the window frames light up with illumination. Welcome to Yonchome cafe in Kouenji. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years that I’ve wandered up and down these streets! Today we are going to introduce the one place I can’t stop loving. It is located in the charming Kouenji and is the home of this wonderful window view.
Leave the south exit, walk along the rotary and you will eventually arrive at Yonchome cafe, which is on the 2nd floor of the building. What a fitting name for a cafe located in Yonchome, Kouenji!
Open the thick wooden door and you will discover a cafe with an interior bigger than you imagined. With 100 seats, the atmosphere of the cafe is moderate and spacious, with a good distance between the tables and an overall calm feel. Sit here and you will easily lose track of time. Amongst the mood lights and glistening stain glass windows, of course the seat of your choice would be next to the window, where the evening light entwines with the ambient glow that radiates from the Chuo line.
However, when the weather is fine or when a mild midday breeze rolls in, it’s hard to resist a seat on the terrace! A book in one hand and coffee in the other, or raising a toast with beers, watching the busy people walking the steers below. What’s your style?
The heartily portioned lunch sets are reasonably priced and delicious, making this restaurant really stand out. The regular menu includes generous portions that are ideal for sharing. Happy hour runs on the weekdays from 17:00 〜 21:00, during which time draft beers and the house wine sells for just ￥230! The main charm of Yonchome is its value for time and money.
The deluxe taco-rice with soft boiled egg （デラックスタコライス 半熟卵添え） costs ￥1,000. As the name implies, it is an extravagant and luxurious dish. No matter how hungry you are or how many people are in your group, this meal is the perfect size to share or devour solely to yourself. The dish is packed with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat and cheese. The spicy sauce packs the perfect punch to balance out the mild egg. Order a beer for the perfect finish to your feast.
Speaking of beer, the anchovy potatoes (￥500) make for the perfect accompaniment. Although the potatoes are quite large, the crispy skin, tempting aroma, and creamy and salty anchovy butter enhance its wow-factor. This is the ultimate combination of flavours! Although this is quite a quirky dish to single out, I must say out of all the potato dishes I have ever had in my life, this was the best!
Whether you drink alcohol or steer clear of it, there is something for everyone at Yonchome Café. The coffee, alcohol and soft drinks range is particularly large. They also sell special summer homemade lemonade for ￥630, which is the perfect way to refresh yourself and quench your dry days against the heat of summer.
Light pours passionately into the café, yet the atmosphere is calm. No matter when the food arrives, it is always delicious. No matter what time you arrive, you will be greeted by comfort. Whether it be afternoon or evening, whether you come alone or in a crowd, you will always feel welcome.
Like the view outside your window, our feelings change every day. However, you can always count on this café to always be here, unchanged. You can return to your favourite spot, your favourite seat and enjoy your favourite meal.
As the day winds down and the night time illumination lights up, the Chuo line is still running. Seated next to the window that exposes the Chuo line in operation, I thought to myself that maybe, this is my favourite spot.
Original text by：Miiki Sugita
Translated by: Samantha Fernandes
Autumn Flower Topped Cream Sodas Served at Floral Cafe and Bar HANABAR in Koenji
31.August.2020 | FOOD
HANABAR, a floral themed cafe and bar in Koenji, Tokyo, released two breathtaking new cream sodas on Friday which capture the sentimental feeling of summer transitioning to autumn.
HANABAR opened in September 2017 as Japan’s “first dried flower cafe.” A sister store, gmgm, opened last year selling gorgeously gourmet doughnuts topped with dried flowers. Both stores as produced by Nana Yui, a dried flower artist.
Lavendel | ¥1,100
Coloured an eye-catching purple, this autumn-time cream soda is made with lavender, butterfly pea, and lime.
Aimatsurika | ¥1,100
A refreshing mix of jasmine, grapefruit, and lemon topped with sweet ice cream that has a citrus fruit aftertaste.
The flowers draped inside the ice are all elderflower which has high nutritional value.
Beat the Japanese heat this summer in Tokyo with one of these tantalising cream sodas.
Floral Autumn Colour Cream Sodas
Serving: August 28, 2020 – Late October 2020
Address: 3-30-6 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://www.hanabar.tokyo/
Gourmet Flower Doughnuts Released at gmgm in Tokyo’s Koenji District
18.July.2020 | FOOD
gmgm released a new collection of “Cold Flower Doughnuts” on July 17 for the summer season which you need to scoop up to eat.
gmgm is a cosy cafe and doughnut shop in Koenji, Tokyo which serves beautiful doughnuts topped with edible flowers.
Scoopable “Cold Flower Doughnuts” – ¥450 (Before Tax)
Combined with refreshing summertime lemon jelly is a creamy panna cotta filled with lumps of fresh fruit.
On the surface of the jelly is colourful and elegant seasonal edible flowers.
The bottom layer is the super soft panna cotta which enjoys the richness of the fresh cream and the juiciness of the fruits.
Address: 3-60-10 Koenjiminami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Open: Fridays, Weekends, National Festival Days
Business Hours: 12:00〜19:00
*Flower doughnuts available online 7 days a week
Official Website: https://www.gmgm.info/shop
Dine On Fancy Authentic Japanese Food Casually at SHARI in Ginza
SHARI is a restaurant located on the second floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza-gochome, a new hotel that opened on September 26 located within walking distance from Ginza Station and Higashi-Ginza Station. This restaurant serves authentic and fancy Japanese-style food as well as luxurious Kobe beef, gozen set meals, and much more.
Ginza is known as the expensive, upmarket part of Tokyo, and when talking about small local restaurants there the pricing threshold tends to be rather high, but at SHARI customers can enjoy proper Japanese cuisine in a more casual manner and at a much more affordable price, with the typical set lunches starting at just ¥1,200.
Sophisticated is the word that springs to mind upon entering this restaurant, as your eyes meet the gorgeous mix of wood on black. As well as table seats, they also have counter seats too, allowing for you to enjoy a little luxury on your own if you so wish.
There is an additional restaurant inside the main restaurant itself that goes by the name Teppanyaki Mitaki, a tiny six-seater restaurant that serves Kobe beef, a type of wagyu beef and one of the top three beefs in Japan.
SHARI Gozen – ¥3,000 (Before Tax)
I ordered the SHARI Gozen which is served during lunchtime. This set comes with six small bowls, each filled with different colourful foods. It’s a cute-looking set♡
There’s lots of meat and fish included in the set. For meat, they have steak made with domestic beef. It’s succulent and drizzled in a rich sauce that fills your mouth deliciously with a single bite. With the sashimi, the restaurant makes sure to serve fish that’s in reason. There were 3 types of fish so it was a very satisfying meal.
The set can also be served with a variety of deep-fried foods, stewed foods, and cold fishes, as well as rice, miso soup, desserts and more. No matter what you order you can rest assured you’ll be full afterwards.
SHARI is a chic and stylish restaurant with great food, plus it’s located in Ginza. And you can enjoy all of this at a super low price!
Lady’s Gozen – ¥2,600 (Before Tax)
I have to recommend the Lady’s Gozen if you’re looking to enjoy fish and vegetables. It comes with two varieties of sashimi and one fried fish, all in season, as well as an assortment of fried food, savoury egg custard, and four side dishes.
It also comes with rice and sushi rolls as well as a dessert like the SHARI Gozen.
The whole dinner menu is lined with Japanese food, including sashimi, tempura, fried food and more. There’s also various courses, including the Teppanyaki Mitaki course which is priced from ¥12,000. It comes with Kobe beef of course in addition to various other high quality ingredients.
Shu – ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
I also recommend this Japanese-style cocktail for those thinking of staying late. It’s inspired by the colours used in kabuki theatre―a Bloody Mary combining shichimi, nihonshu, and tomato juice. The rim of the glass is lined with more shichmi for a spicy and refreshing kick when you sip.
Check out the cute glass it comes in too.
From affordable lunches to dinner courses made with top quality ingredients, SHARI can be enjoyed throughout the entire day with its diverse menu line-up. Be sure to pay a visit to tuck into authentic Japanese cuisine in the luxury district of Ginza.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Address: Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza-gochome (Floor 2F), 5-13-15 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Morning 6:30-10:30 (Last Entries 10:00) / Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:00) / Evening 17:30-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Closures: Morning – None / Lunch & Evening – Mondays (If Monday falls on a Public Holiday, closed the following day)
Access: 4-minutes on foot from Ginza Station’s A5 Exit / 1-minute on foot from Higashi-Ginza’s A1 and 4 Exits
*¥500 service charge during dinnertime. 10% service charge instead for Teppanyaki Mitaki. Smart-casual dress code. Preschoolers not permitted entry.
Official Website: http://shari-the-tokyo.jp/shari/
Tokyo Dinner: HEIJITSU HIRU DAKE’s Curry in Kōenji is Served With Japanese Stock
Rinko Murata loves all types of curry. In this edition of Tokyo Dinner, she invites the person she wants to meet up with the most to eat the curry she’s been wanting to eat the most.
This month’s notable restaurant she stopped by was HEIJITSU HIRU DAKE in Kōenji, Tokyo. Their curry portions are generous and are good for the stomach and satiety center. They serve a curry flavoured with Japanese dashi, or ‘stock.’
How do you spend your early afternoons when you have time off? Lounging around at home with quality time to yourself sounds like a good plan. Definitely appealing.
But this is a rare opportunity. How about going on a little adventure to try something you can get a kick out of because it’s midday and a weekday?
I know the perfect curry house for your hungry selves. HEIJITSU HIRU DAKE.
As the Japanese name suggests, it’s a curry that can only be eaten at lunchtime, a mysterious dish that doesn’t appear on regular days off.
I land in Kōenji, a place I love the most. Even though iKōenji is Kōenji, the closest station to the restaurant is Higashi-Kōenji Station.
My vision is filled with all kinds of sights.
It’s like being lost in a treasure chest.
This place is actually normally a café and goes by the name Schwarze Katze. It’s open mainly on Friday night, weekends and holidays. “HEIJITSU HIRU DAKE” runs in a rented room in the café and and is open when the café is. It’s kind of luxurious to have the chance to eat my favourite food (curry!) in a place like this.
My heart desires the Wadashi Soboro Curry (¥980) that I mentioned earlier. It also comes with self-service coffee for after your meal. For toppings you can choose whatever you like. Since I was there and didn’t want to get lost on what to pick, I went for all the toppings (¥300).
The water I ordered comes in a plastic bottle. The tables have antique displays. Everything on them was wonderful.
The air was clad in that rich, familiar scent of curry, a special one that I would never get to eat had I not come here.
The instant I hold the curry in my mouth the delicious flavour of the dashi sparks in my mouth like fireworks. The broth has a slight thickness to it and a strong, deep flavour that fades into a soft aftertaste on the tip of your tongue. It’s not at all spicy, and the goodness of the dashi is luxurious like being escorted by a gentleman. And I can’t forget the smell.
My taste buds throb at this new sensation.
Like its name suggests, this is a dish where the Japanese dashi stands out above the ingredient crowd. The restaurant owner has gathered much experience in the kitchen from traditional Japanese cuisine to sushi, ramen, yakiniku, izakaya style and so on. He encountered this place by chance, and with one look he said to himself, “I want to try doing curry.” The Wadashi Soboro Curry came about through his gained culinary experience combined with the aesthetics of the café.
To bring out the full flavour of the dashi so it isn’t drowned out by the curry spices, the owner uses two types of skipjack tuna, kombu, dark sleeper, and dried sea slug, as well as a type of soy sauce called Kaeshi. 15 more ingredients are blended together to create the spices, creating deep and delicate flavours.
Now it’s time for a session with the mountain of ingredients I greedily asked for. It’s enshrined with classics like meat soboro, beefsteak, agedama, bonito flakes, and dried plum in addition to pickled daikon radish, crushed natto, Japanese ginger, and okra. The spinach and onsen tamago egg sit at the foot of the mountain and create a new culinary sight.
The base of the dashi is mobilized with a force of Japanese ingredients with a smell and flavour and that comes together harmoniously in your mouth. I’m spellbound by the flavours that stand out coupled with the pleasant textures of the agedama, daikon and ginger.
Hey, I must have hit every ingredient in there. All correct.
I added a sprinkle of pepper that was on the table and create yet another refreshing aromatic veil.
The compatibility of the pepper with the dish works so well precisely because it uses a Japanese dashi. Wadashi, or Japanese broth, is a staple of Japanese cuisine. The curry and Japanese soul carved into this dish resonates with me. It’s my first time eating it, yet I’m still filled with a sort of nostalgia―a warm embrace.
I also understand why when the shop opens, the customers in the café stand up and change with the next line of customers. The owner has a wonderful sensitivity, and has worked out a way to put his own matchless warmth into each and every bowl. I caught sight of his gentle smile as he was cooking in the kitchen. It left an impression on me.
What a delicious curry to enjoy in such a wonderful place. All five of my senses have reached peak happiness. I grab my post-meal coffee and head onto the streets of Kōenji.
What a wonderful weekday afternoon.
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
HEIJITSU HIRU DAKE
Address: 1-21-21 Umezato, Suginami, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:30-15:00 (Weekdays Only)
Official Twitter: @Heijitsuhirudake
【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #5: “café Benisica” – The Birthplace of Pizza Toast
“A café that has continued to be loved for 60 years”
In this entry to my café series, I visited the familiar Yurakucho, the center of modern Tokyo culture. This year, long-standing café Benisica turned 61-years-old. I stopped by to have my fill of their amazing pizza toast. The café is a 2-minute walk from Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro lines, and 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR lines, making it an easy place to get to.
The café opened all those years ago in response to the large number of cinemas and theatres dotted around Yurakucho. They wanted to create place where people could relax on their way back from seeing a show.
Upon arrival, you can still observe stylish older ladies strolling into the café. The scene hasn’t changed one bit which I found to be wonderful.
Café Benisica is famous for being the birthplace of original pizza toast. They even have a sign at the entrance telling you that! Eye-catching!!!
Without further ado, let’s head on in♪
I take one step into the café, and… Huh? What’s this?!
That’s right. At Benisica, you can enjoy vacuum brewed coffee. This was the first time I had seen a vacuum coffee maker up close, so I gazed at them with a keen interest.
Inside, I gazed at the café décor and objects scattered around of Hibiya, a town which changes with the times. You can feel the weight of the times instore – all the wonderful items look stylish simply by being placed in there! The café interior is a collection of warm colours. It’s a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.
This is Benisica’s famous pizza toast, costing ￥950 (tax included). They have plenty of set menus, and drink menus are ￥1,350. The story behind the pizza toast was how if you didn’t go to an Italian restaurant back then, you couldn’t eat pizza. So, they took pizza and turned it into something you can eat casually – toast. Since then, it has continued to be a much-loved menu item with customers for almost half a century.
After hearing the story, I took no time at all ordering my own pizza toast! To drink, I chose a strawberry shake. Just so you know, the shake doesn’t come in set orders, so be careful.
Thick servings of cheese and put onto chunky slices of toast. “The soul of the pizza toast is in the cheese!” is what you’ll be saying at its presence on the toast. Its generous serving makes this pizza toast suitable not just as a light meal, but even a whole lunch. As well as the standard ingredients like salami, onion and bell peppers, I was happy that there were mushrooms too.
The bread’s texture is fluffy! I was hungry, so I made short work of it. Thank you for the meal.
This is the owner of Benisica, Setsuko Murakami, who told me the story of the café. She’s a very wonderful person who loves her husband very much. Not only did she tell me about the café – I got to hear about her husband’s way of living and thoughts too. The words of people that have walked the road of life longer than me are deep and enlightening.
I stored the owner’s story safely onto the shelves in my heart. The next time something happens, I’ll rely on those special words she graciously taught me and work hard.
【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles
“Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”
I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪
The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…
There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.
As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.
I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪
I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.
Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.
The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.
There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.
Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.
I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ￥720 including tax)
It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!
The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!
The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!
Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.
I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.
I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!
Tokyo Café Series: “Futsu ni Fruits”—A fruit sandwich stand in Daikanyama, Nakameguro
Today, we’d like to introduce to you “Futsu ni Fruits,” a shop produced by a certain popular café in Omotesando that sells fruit sandwiches.
“Futsu ni Fruits” is produced by Omotesando’s popular café & bakery, “Bread, Espresso &,” and is the first place in Nakameguro area to specialize in fruit sandwiches. The shop’s name implies that we should enjoy eating fruits not just on special occasions – but on regular days too.
You can find it located near Yarigasaki Crossing and can be easily accessed from either Daikanyama and Nakameguro.
The shop is small and compact, part of its charm being that it’s a stand. The shop’s design is styled around a Showa fashion shop, maintaining a retro vibe while also having a pop feel to it. There are also benches installed so you can enjoy sitting down and eating whatever you order.
The shop counter is lined with different varieties of fruit sandwiches. They embrace seasonal fruits, so you can enjoy going as many times as you like. They offer standard and scrumptious fruit sandwiches as well as delicious original ones, such as one filled with fresh cream and topped with red bean paste!
Futsu ni Fruits (￥350 – tax incl.)
You will find the “Futsu ni Fruits” sandwich listed on the shop’s billboard menu. It’s filled with banana, pink grapefruit, orange and kiwi and stuffed with a light serving of fresh cream, giving it a refreshing taste.
Aki no Yonaga ni (￥400 – tax incl.)
This is the limited edition seasonal sandwich for this season. It has a rich, luxurious taste thanks to the Japanese persimmon and sweet bean paste. The bread used for the fruit sandwiches is delivered every morning. The fruits and bread taste perfect together, and their soft and fluffy texture make this a winning sandwich!
Fruit Milk (￥400 each – tax incl.)
What goes hand-in-hand when eating bread? Milk, of course! These cute bottles of milk are prepared on-site every morning. The milk comes in various flavours, including fruit mix and banana milk. They also serve coffee milk (￥350 – tax incl.) using Ogawa Coffee beans.
“Futsu ni Fruits” even sells little accessories such as badges and stickers. The cool pop-style logo is the same as the shop’s logo.
This colourful fruit sandwich shop might be small, but it’s definitely one photogenic café stand. Why not treat yourself to a sweet fruit sandwich during your shopping trip or city stroll?
【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe you that you want to visit to see someone #3 “Galant” —a retro café in Ueno
“It’s a mysterious café vacuum sealed with an energy that feels like it’s the time of the Japanese economic miracle”
We’re at the third installment of this series where we take a stroll to old-fashioned cafes filled with a sense of nostalgia.
I, Ema Tanioka, will be introducing to you another retro café that I am in love with. Today, we go to “Galant” in Ueno, a town where the Showa mood still lingers.
Galant has continued to be loved by many people since it opened its doors back in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the popular café. “Galant” sounds a little space-y, don’t you think? It’s a little different from the norm. When I enquired to the staff about the origin of the café’s name, they told me that it comes from the Mitsubishi Galant as the owner is a fan of cars. To think that a car’s name became the name of a café! But it has a ring to it and is easy to remember, so it might actually be a huge success.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s make our way there!
Galant is on the 2nd floor of this building. As you head up the stairs, it no longer felt like I was in the real world. A completely different world opened before me. Because of the entrance’s chic brickwork, I was surprised by the dazzling lights floating inside.
Here too! There was so much sparkle.
The first thing to peak my interest was the uniform the staff were wearing. So cute… You don’t see that red & yellow combination much these days. It helped amplify that retro mood of the café even more.
The male staff wore red & black! Black was the base colour and had that well defined, guy-like feel to it. Together with the checkered vests, it completed that retro look. It was wonderful. The café was also playing popular Showa era songs. I really felt like I had stepped back in time.
And then… and then! The menu arrived!
The most popular item on the menu is the chocolate parfait (￥900 tax incl.). It was absolutely stuffed with cream all the way to the middle. For people who love sweet things this is an irresistible delight. By the way, I must ask, what do you do when it comes to the cherry on top of the parfait? The truth is, I absolutely love parfaits, but I’m really not into the cherry – I usually leave it until the end. Even though it looks so cute on the parfait…
Another item is the cream soda (￥750 tax incl.). When going to a café, you just have to get a cream soda!! It’s because you don’t see them around much besides at cafes and family restaurants, so I’m the person that ends up ordering one unintentionally when if I see it on the menu.
There’s a nice fat serving of ice cream in there. It’s a drink you can enjoy that has the aesthetic of a dessert. The melon soda is crystal clear like a precious gem. The best part about cream soda is how the ice cream slowly melts into the drink. It’s pretty fun to watch!
Galant is the kind of café where the more you get to know it, the more you start to love it. Its fans have been supporting it for many years, and even when I become a grandma in the future, I reckon it’ll still be bustling all the same.
【Tokyo Cafe】The bistro-restaurant “PATH”in Yoyogi hachimangu, “deep Shibuya” where it is fine to go solo
In this article, the editors would like to introduce to you the truly beautiful bistro restaurant, “PATH.” Their Dutch pancakes are wonderful!
The owner of this restaurant started this bistro with the concept of making a local-connected shop where people can drop by for a meal even if they are solo. The owner wanted to make an “honest” restaurant where customers can enjoy breakfast menus and sweets that first-class patissiers have made. The local of this restaurant, Yoyogi hachimangu, has a very settled feel and it is one of the owner’s favorite neiborhods. The restaurant is very near Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station, so it is a very convenient spot to go to after touring this area of Tokyo.
The name of the restaurant, PATH was chosen with the concept that all the staff, including the patissiers and chefs are all walking in the same direction along the same path.
The owner’s liking of interior design can be seen throughout the décor of the shop. The restaurant has the feel of a Western country home. It is modern but yet the abundant use of wood make for a very “at home” feel to the establishment. The soft lighting of the interior also helps to make for a very comforting atmosphere. The restaurant also has counter seats so even those who are solo can come for a meal without hesitation.
The other point which the owner takes great care in is the BGM. The analog sound is played through a vacuum tube amplifier making for a nostalgic sound which many customers value highly. The owner’s pride are the vintage Altech speakers. The owner had saved these at his home hoping that one day he could use them in his own restaurant.
After café time, this establishment turns into a bistro. They have a very good wine lineup and their inhouse wine comes with a very unique label – illustrations of persons faces. Something very interesting is the fact that the age of the illustrations correlates with the age of the face that is illustrated – the older the face, the older the wine. Even if you are not a wine connoisseur are will for sure find a wine to your liking.
The menu item that you must order if you visit this restaurant is the Dutch pancakes with raw ham and burrata (1500 yen). The pancakes are fried slowly – 30 minutes in the making and it is the dough that is so wonderful. The texture of the pancakes is wonderful and although it looks like a hefty serving it is light and even a woman will be able to eat the plate clean. The pancakes are topped with ham made in Parma and burrata cheese. These toppings make a great match with the pancakes. It is recommended that you pour a generous serving of maple syrup on top before you eat. Please note that the cheese used in this restaurant comes from SHIBUYA CHEESE STAND（http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/38168） which we introduced before.
The inhouse wine of this restaurant is a weak forming Petty Ann wine with a label illustration depicting Keith Haring (9,600 yen, tax included). It is an organic wine, so it will not leave you with a hangover. Even those who do not drink much alcohol will enjoy this wine.
Take away service is also provided and it is also possible to purchase bread or sweets on your way to work. Just be careful that the items you want are not sold out. Their croissants are usually sold out by 10 and their baked goods are sold out by noon.
“PATH” is a “deep Shibuya” restaurant where you can eat a delicious and hearty meal. The author of this article being a wine lover purchased a bottle of wine to take home as a gift. Here is a bistro where you can wonder in on your own for a good meal at the counter as you watch the chefs cook or you can come here on your date. Enjoy the nice BGM, the wine and the scrumptious food.
【Tokyo Cafe】 Break away from the busy city for a cup of coffee at “GRAIN BREAD BREW” located near Hikawa Shrine.
Today’s feature looks at GRAIN BREAD BREW – a café that sits snug nearby Hikawa Shrine in Shibuya. This special café brings warmth to your everyday and receives a perfect score when it comes to spaciousness.
The shop owner, who makes coffee apparatus and tumblers, is a big sandwich-lover. After travelling the world and trying out different sandwiches, the owner came up with delicious sandwich recipes and wanted many people to taste them. This is how the café was born. The café’s name derives from special keywords. “Grain” is used to make the store’s “bread”. Coffee beans are carefully selected to “brew”. This makes the “GRAIN BREAD BREW” we know and love today.
The bright and spacious entrance creates a friendly atmosphere. The interior uses white as a colour theme base. Here, comfortable furniture has been gathered and arranged perfectly. The warm-coloured lighting brings the interior design into perspective, filling the room with a warm atmosphere.
The iconic and cute squirrel is the café’s mascot character. It is inspired by the animals that gather outside Hikawa Shrine, which is located nearby. These squirrel mascots are everywhere inside the café – can you spot them all?
The coffee beans used to brew the specialty coffee are carefully selected from across the world. In order for the full flavour to be extracted from the beans, a coffee press is used. Our team recommends a hot cup of fresh, sour, yet fruity Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Domeruso (￥450 + tax).
What makes the coffee press superior to a flannel drip and paper drip is the ability to press the natural oil of the coffee beans directly into the mug, making the perfect cup. You can enjoy the true essence of coffee to your hearts content right here at this café.
The sandwiches are made using a variety of breads including ciabatta, toast, pita bread and much more. Each type of bread has been specially made to draw out maximum flavour. The monster-style sandwich is filled with a generous 100g of bacon and costs ￥1,000 (+ tax). The springy texture of the ciabatta bread is complimented by the flavour of olive oil. A thick slice of bacon, rich balsamic vinegar, and to top off the texture, a bit of sliced cucumber. At a glance, the dish looks quite filling, but it is surprisingly light. No need to share – those who get full quite easily can still finish it off on their own!
Our recommendation from the sweets menu is the fluffy French toast brûlée. This uses seasonal fruits and is accompanied with ice cream. (￥800 + tax). The texture of this lovable dessert is created by preparing the egg mix for 24 hours. This dish is plated up with apple compote and honey, and vanilla ice cream with a nut garnish. The three parts to the dessert exist in perfect harmony, ensuring that you do not tire of the taste. Every mouthful is something to look forward to.
The company also sells coffee-making equipment and a variety of goods that are easy for anyone to use. The Wallmug Demita (￥800 + tax) is a popular product designed as a result of a collaboration of many famous brands. You can purchase a tumbler and micro coffee dripper (￥700 + tax) to make a set. These are just a few items included in the lineup of easy-to-use goods!
If you are searching for a place where you can remove yourself from the bustling city, enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and soothe your senses, please visit GRAIN BREAD BREW. There is also a takeout menu, so you can enjoy nice coffee whilst watching the autumn leaves of the shrine forest.
Photos by：Kayo Sekiguchi
Original text by：Ryoichi KOMABA
Translated by: Samantha Fernandes
Source：She magazine http://she-mag.jp/diary/81280?wid=54544
【Tokyo Cafe】Nanaya in Aoyama has the World’s Most Intense Matcha Flavoured Ice Cream
In today’s installment of Tokyo Café, we head to Nanaya in Aoyama, a popular café that sells sweet and refreshing matcha gelato, perfect for the summertime.
Marushichi Seicha is a tea producer that estalished in 1988 in Shizuoka, Japan’s number one tea-growing district. They were the first in Japan to sell freeze dried matcha, which has since come to prove very popular and enjoyed throughout homes in Japan due to its ease of preparation. Marushichi Seicha set out to open “Nanaya” to take advantage of the flavour of matcha, something loved by people of all ages in Japan.
The shop’s special menu features a list of gelato, or ice cream, using this same delactable matcha. It offers seven varying levels of matcha intensity – level 1 begins with a more moderately sweeter flavour, but as you progress up the scale to level 7 the flavour of the matcha becomes richer and deeper. The menu also includes a range gelato using other teas too, such as houjicha (roasted green tea) and genmaicha (brown rice green tea).
The most popular item on the menu is the no. 7 level matcha gelato (￥560, tax incl.), which claims to be the most matcha-intense ice cream in the world. It uses matcha that received an award from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. There’s a reason it has become so renowned, with its deeply rich and bitter matcha flavour inside which lies the right hint of refreshing sweetness.
As well as matcha flavours, Nanaya serves up other gelato too, such as the Genmaicha Gelato (pictured above on left / ￥370), a fragrant brown rice green tea that is popular among guys that visit the shop. You can customize your ice cream cups too and get double scoops (pictured above on right / ￥470) and even triple scoops (￥500), meaning you can order a variety of different flavours to try at once.
If you you’re thinking of ordering another gelato flavour to go with matcha, then you should try getting it with houjicha, which has a subtle fragrance of tea in its sweetness!
【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #2 “Nanatsumori”—An Attractive Cafe in Kōenji
“A coffee lounge where you can step back in time and spend it in luxury.”
Showa, retro-style coffee shops that are comfortable and echo a sense of nostalgia. I, Ema Tanioka, love going to these kinds of cafés. I hope to make you want to visit a place like this, the kind of place where you want to meet with someone.
For today’s stroll, I went to Kōenji, a conveniently accessible location from the city just one stop from Shinjuku on the Chūō Line. When you think of Kōenji, you think of its plentiful second hand clothes shops and shops selling miscellaneous goods, among others, all with their individual traits. It’s the kind of town where you’re sure to discover something new each time you visit.
This time around, I went to “Nanatsumori,” a café that has a retro look to it from the outside. It was built in Showa 53 (the year 1978). I heard that the building was originally used as a tea house.
At the front of the café is an old-fashioned shaved ice machine. I couldn’t help turning it.
Upon entering, you can see the interior of the café has weathered. It has an atmosphere reminiscent of the Showa era, like you’ve just stepped back in time. No matter where you take a photograph in the café it will look beautiful.
There were lots of mysterious ornaments inside; I couldn’t help but reach my hands out to touch everything♪
But, in the end, I didn’t know what any of the things I’m holding in the photos were. How on earth do you use this stuff…?!
While pondering that, just simply gazing around the interior of the café filled me with a feeling of excitement.