home made cafe - 1st try

Ok, here are something that we have made a few days before during our holidays, when we bought a new oven. Although they were not that looking good or can be sold at any cafe, we learned a lot from them.

First, my wife made some pudding. At first when I tried it while it was still hot, it was not that good. But later after we put it in the fridge for a night, it turned tasty. Not bad for a first try. I know the photo does not seem that good, but we are still trying on the appearance...

I made these cookies because I thought it might be easy and I was curious about the honey as one of its ingredient. The cookies were successfully made, but they are just usual cookies. Well, at least I gave it a try. Maybe better luck next time.

And this, the ice cream that I have wanted to make for a long time. Honestly, I think I failed. Because it was more "ice" and there are no creamy part... I think I have to look for a better recipe.

Beside the three above, actually my wife also baked a very nice cheese cake. But unfortunately I could not take any nice photo despite the great taste. She still need to work on the texture of the cake. Looking forward to catch a nice shot.

Anyway, the next baking day will have to be scheduled in the end of October.


Chelsea Cafe

I believe that a good spatial design such of cafe is the one which creates nice imprints of memory. It is not an easy job and usually it could be more easier just to build something beautiful or elegant on the appearance, like those monumental architectural design. Personally I am not against those particular design because they serve their purpose too; but I prefer spatial construction with architectural elements as the background to nurture meaningful imprints of our memory.

In terms of my not-so-supported-by-fellow-architecture-friends-in-Japan's philosophy, I think Chelsea Cafe could be counted as one of the successful spatial design which contributed to my life experience. Maybe it happened accidentally, but it sure did.

It was a rainy night in '07 winter when a friend (who is my wife now) called. She could not find any other friends in Tokyo to accompany her for dinner because it was year end that time and everybody was out of the town. We had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant near Shinjuku station, and we kept on talking and talking and talking even after we left the restaurant. So I voted for a little journey to search for cakes because it was her birthday.

Luckily we found a cafe nearby, which was Chelsea. But I did not remember the name last time because all the concern was about the cakes in the show window. Most of the cakes were out of order because it was getting late, but we managed to have some.

To be honest, I do not have any clear memory about the cafe of that night; I remember only the blur experience of having cakes on a cold winter night there. But that is enough - to know that we are sharing something together.

Yes, to share something together, that is a nice and meaningful memory imprint. Whether it is a cafe, or any spatial design, I always place the experiential approach in my design recipe. It is not an easy path, but whenever there's a will, there's a way. Besides, the beauty within exceeds those without.



Today was cloudy but I think this cafe helped to brighten up our mood. HATTIFNATT has a very small entrance door that we had to squeeze our shelves through it. It felt like entering the wonderland and you have to start looking for the rabbit. Passing by a small wooden door with all my curiosity, we took the stairs to the upper floor. The loft spaces were taken so we just chose a simple seat. But it really felt like a different world there. Even without those dolls for sale exhibited in the room, I think the atmosphere was nicely created.

We took some time looking around before we actually ordered for the food. The croque-monsieur (the upper photo below) was very nice though it was only a very simple mix of white sauce, cheese, and the toasts. The curry doria tasted very healthy and delicious too. However I had expect for a different menu which better reflect their concept for the cafe.

Anyway, I believe the true disappointment I had was due to the dessert which we could not order during the time we had visited for lunch. The dessert ordering starts on 3pm, which was not possible for us. And the dessert menu really looked good and share the concept of the cafe.

I could only hope for a second visit... for the dessert!


mois cafe

Yesterday was my 2nd visit to mois cafe in Shimokitazawa. My wife said she will definitely missed the place if it was not me who told her that it is a cafe. As you can see from the photos above, an old Japanese house was renovated and it is hardly any visible sign at the entrance. But that is the reason why I like the place. Nothing much though, it is comfortable and relaxing.

We did not have our lunch here because I just wanted to show my wife another approach of creating a special cafe. Although she did not think that this is a good example for Malaysian, we had a good time.

We ordered 2 dishes of sweets. One is a common blueberry cheese tart, another is a blancmange made of matcha, which I does not understand why they still calling it "blanc". Anyway, they were delicious.


Lu's cafe

Ever had the feeling that there might be something inside the little box hanging on the ceiling corner (or any place that is unreachable for you), especially when there is an openning on it? And do you still have your childhood dream of finding treasure out of this wonderful world?
Yesterday, I saw that little box again in Lu's Cafe.

It was a sunny day on this half summer and half autumn kind of Japanese season. We were guided to a seat in a bright room. Almost everything in the cafe were filled with a little attraction, and a lots of affections.

The food was great too. I had the Lu's Cafe dried curry which was simple and tasty. I like the way they cooked the vegetable separately, and the arrangement of the dish seemed nice. The baked cheese cake we had for dessert was a good one too, but it was not as good as promoted by the cafe, a shame... but we did enjoy our cake:) And my wife ordered another chocolat cake, which I think the reason is because of the nice showcase.

Anyway, I think the interior was a successful one despite its surrounding and the noisy main road just in front of it. It is not easy to always have everything in the best condition of all.



Montoak is a stylish cafe located at the main street of Omotesando - a district famous of its fashion & boutiques, a place congested with architectural experiments by star architects such as MVRDV, Tadao Ando, Kazuo Sejima, Jun Aoki, etc. Hence, a calm interior such as montoak is surely a good escape from the noisy archiscape.

We decided to visit it after having our lunch at Annon cook (as introduced on a previous post) and being tired walking around Harajuku and Omotesando. Well, it was a hot day in September.

We ordered only one chocolate banana ice cream and a piece of maccha(Japanese green tea) cake because we were still very full that moment. However, to our surprise our appetite recovered soon after we took in the first bite. The taste was great and refreshing. It was totally a different experience compare to that of Annon cook, but the choice was well made; the contrast created by banana, the ice cream, and the sweet burned cookie, and the layered cheese and sifon cake captured by a simple piece of cake, marvelous.

I am not sure whether it was because that we found an oasis in the dry city, or if the food was really that good, but our experience was a good one. If you would like me to compare them to that of Paris Seveille (please refer to previous post for details), maybe they were not that great in term of cake-ism. But the balance created by the surrounding and the feeling we had within was nice.

I think they were right when they say they wanted to create an oasis (on montoak's HP).


Annon cook

This is among the earliest cafe in my research list started a few years ago. It is also one of the place which provides both the spatial comfort and nutritious yet delicious menu. The environment design using wood nicely creates the harmony to fit the healthy organic food. To fully understand and feel the perfectness of realizing an overall concept to every extent of each entity contributing to the cafe, Annon cook is surely a right place to start with.

Today, we ordered a curry set and a pain (bread) set. The ingredient of the curry was amazing - they used different kind of nuts to create a mixture of natural taste; and the soup which came with my bread was very refreshing.

I belive it is very hard to create a same atmosphere like Annon cook in my hometown because the intensity of sunlight is quite different. But there must be a way to provide nicer food where rich ingredients are used, regardless of the profit earned.

A promise of "good food"...