Cafe Romano

Today we went to Kita-Kamakura for soumen (a kind of Japanese noodle that is served using a bamboo pipe with flowing water), and headed to Kamakura station after that on walk, while passing through some Japanese temples and shophouses. On the way we had a long silly talk in one of the temple, which we felt is not a very good manner, so we decided to continue our talks in a cafe. And that brought us to finding this nice cafe - Cafe Romano.

I found the sign board first after a few failed attempts, but we were not sure because there were leaflets saying 50% discount for all of the cakes. After some calculations for most Malaysian will do, we entered the cafe. And we ordered 5 of the cakes for each one of us, from the cakes menu which consisted only 5 items (haha). And who knows, they were good!

After we had the cakes which vanished in a sudden, we kept on talking about Malaysian's, remembering the food we had during our childhood, describing the taste, looks, memories, etc., and trying to help each for lost memories too. It was fun!

Once again, I was convinced that a really good cafe (or any piece of architecture) should not only provides nice menu or comfortable environment, but it must be a place where we can enjoy ourselves that we might not even remember where we are.

The cafe journey continues... :)


il Pacioccone di Chianti

Yesterday we have gone to the trattoria for the 2nd time this month, thinking to introduce it to our friend, again. Actually we have planned to visit a beer garden nearby but since there was nothing special about the place, we switched. Luckily we managed to find a table there because it was crowded due to the late hour of our visit. And better for me, I got the best angle for the first time for my photo record.

We did not order much because the hot and over-humid weather of Japan killed our mood for a nice dinner. But as usual, we did not want to miss the delicious pizza of the month. As usual, it was great.

As for my wife, she had finally learned that the machine in the above photo is used for cutting meat, not bread. And for us, we were sure that we have more to learn about food and restaurant to really appreciate them. Just like the chinese saying, "we do not eat to live, but we live for food". Haha.


shimauma cafe

We visited this shimauma cafe ("shimauma" means "zebra") after our little tour to Paris Seveille last Saturday in Jiyugaoka. Could you see the zebra sign on the glass screen? I am not sure why they call it shimauma cafe but it was told that there is a zebra doll inside. Anyway I did not care to find it because the reason I stepped in the cafe is that I saw it was ranked the 2nd best cafe in Jiyugaoka on a website.

I still doubt the ranking but undoubtedly the garlic rice was very good. It was a simple food but it tasted terrific. But I would prefer more vegetable for the dish, to make a more perfect balance considering the price of 900yen.

The kitchen was small. With only a staff preparing all the food and drinks. Or maybe the other staff who was taking the order will help if needed. But in either case, 2 staffs for a cafe of more than 25 seats is a hard work. Wonder if they can really manage it. Luckily we were the 2nd customer that day, did not have to wait very long.

And this is another weird item of the cafe. A show window where you can feel the atmosphere from the shop next door. I like the calm design, but I do not understand the reason of its being. Is there any connection with the zebra? Who knows...


Paris Seveille

Again, Paris Seveille. Countless visits... but still the same good taste. Delicious and beautiful, or should I say, elegant? Yesterday we took one of our Malaysian friend there. We talked about cakes, and patisseries in Malaysia (if there is any there). I understand that hoping the culture of having nice cakes to grow over there is very difficult now, but I still want to have that dream.

It is also true for the drinks. Like this orange flavor chocolat that I ordered almost every time, it is nothing like what I can have in my home town. It is perfect!!

I know I will have to start remember the name of those cakes. So that I can really understand and introduce them, and carry my dream to Malaysia.


il Pacioccone di Chianti

Now it is almost once a month that we are having dinner here, a trattoria which I still cannot pronounce its name properly. Although It is not a very big place, and the seats are quite limited, we like the intimate and cozy feeling of the seats layout along the kitchen. The trattoria also reminds me my experience in Italy - the alley, waterway, bar, etc. - which I think is hard to find in the usual Italian restaurant in Tokyo.

The photo above show the bread we are served every time. It is very simple, but taste very nice. I like the way they serve using newspaper in Italian.

The food, it is the best! The pizza, you cannot miss it! We have tried different kinds of pizza every time, and we are amazed by its deliciousness each time. You should try the monthly specialty, where they prepare food of the season.

Today, My wife saw that they have small coffee cups on the counter. I wonder if they serve lunch like those bar in Italy. Well, we are going to find out when we go for the lunch.. soon.



This is yet another cafe which I think it has a very special spatial design, but need more effort in its food preparation. So I am just going to write about its approach, which I think is a good reference for cafe designer.

Located in the center of Daikanyama, a very fashionable town area in Tokyo, this cafe is on the 2nd floor of a boutique shop. The entrance is hardly visible from far away because the stair to the cafe is very narrow. And due to the higher-than-usual ceiling height of the boutique on the 1st floor, there are more steps to reach a usual 2nd floor. However, the limited width and the oversized height produce a very special feeling of the space. It feels like taking you to another dimension which is not common in our daily life.

Maybe it was because of the expectation raised by the entrance approach, that I anticipate a very special cafe - with a range of menu of surprise. Anyway, it is one of the design of approach that keep staying in my memory.


Ko-So-An ( 古桑庵 )

Today is my 2nd visit to Ko-So-An. My rating for it as a cafe is low but I wanted to show my wife and my brother the unique spatial atmosphere of the place. The cafe is located in Jiyugaoka, just a few minutes walk from the station. I am not sure how old is the traditional Japanese architecture, but you can definitely get the feeling of its age when you sit on the tatami room. Or should I say, you can actually smell it? Although it is not a very special building from the aspect of architecture, I think it has the basic and traditional Japanese elements good enough to attract foreign tourists. The wooden structure, tatami, engawa (verandah), courtyard, etc should be very interesting for foreigners especially when they can actually enjoy their tea time here since it is hard to find one exactly like this now in this modern metropolis of Tokyo.

I do appreciate some of the ways they serve, however just like my previous visit, I think the drinks and deserts are too simple and not worth the price. It is a shame... but who knows? Maybe the usual customers are satisfy with it. Or what you really need is a very simple refreshment so that you can actually feel the atmosphere and the Japanese culture - "Wabisabi" ?