Before we go to the hill garden in Yamate, we went to this SLOW CAFE in Motomachi. At first I thought it is in a remote area or somewhere within the residential area, but it turned out that the place is quite crowded and there were a lot of shop houses around it. The atmosphere was so-so but at least the food is not bad.

We tried the deli plate and the curry made of nuts. They were all very healthy, but I was not so sure about the "slow" part. Anyway, it is a very standard cafe that you can find around Tokyo or Yokohama.


Chiki Chiki & Tan Tan

Yesterday, despite the cloudy mood we have decided to visit Chiki Chiki & Tan Tan. Maybe the sound of the name gave us something very, sunny? The cafe is located a bit far from Kannai, the station nearby China Town in Yokohama. I was not so sure about the menu even though I was interested in the interior design of it, but after some searching on the internet I felt we can give it a try.

It turn out that we had made a good choice. The pasta were great. Personally I like the idea to bake the cauliflower and match it with the tomato base chicken pasta. Very nice. And the plate of fish with vegetables and beans was very special indeed. The way they decorated it showed that Chiki Chiki is not just any casual cafe, but something more. However, we were not sure about the desert - 2 type of Tiramisu with vanilla ice cream. The look was great (picture above), but it just did not feel like the Tiramisu. But overall we were satisfied.

Beside the delicious dishes, I also like the way they use the block of red wall in the interior. The separation of the main entrance with the kitchen beside it, some counter seats and the main room for dining was very successful. Even though the design approach seems quite modern, the touch of hand made furniture and decorations help to make it a very warm place indeed.

I think we are going there again sometime :)



Finally, I went to HAMA CAFE. I saw this cafe when I first visited Osanbashi in Yokohama a few years ago ( For info about Osanbashi, pls visit http://www.osanbashi.com/en/index.html ). The cafe felt interesting because of its location and the surrounding. But I had never have the chance to really step inside... until yesterday.

Just as I imagined, it is not spacious inside. Simple, easy. The compact kitchen and the room of 4-5 tables is separated by a decorative tile counter. There is nothing much, but it is enough for simple meals. And we had a nice Saturday's lunch - a plate of Keema curry, a cream spaghetti, and a Tiramisu.

Oh and one more thing, I like the idea to sell popcorn by the entrance. During our lunch, we saw a mother bought a pack of popcorn for her child. Ever had the memory that when you are small, the eagerly feeling to grasp that popcorn or the cotton candy when you passing by the shop, to be charmed by the sweet taste in the air.


This is not the type of cafe that we will usually go, but we had no choice last Friday's night after we had our dinner in Shinjuku, and thinking to find a place just to have a cup of coffee. It is almost impossible to find a space to fit 6 of us. After some unsuccessful searching, we finally decided to try this place - L'ambre.

It was really hard to imagine that the cafe has its main room underground with the height as shown in the picture above. As you can see, it is a really old cafe. Even the ice cream and the drinks felt so historic. But we had our good time here. And we even decided to come next time because it surely saves our time to wandering around Shinjuku at night for cafe.



After the disappointment at Suzu Cafe last week which was very shocking indeed, we finally found another nice cafe in a remote area of east Shinjuku yesterday. We took a long walk by the north side of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, where we discovered a lots of pleasant restaurants too. However Armwood Cottage is not located by the garden, but instead it is facing the busy main road of Shinjuku Street. As a contrast to that though, the interior is full of serenity - a very special place to spend a quiet afternoon in this giant metropolis.

The food was simple but delicious, no complaint about that. They were the usual dishes you will find in the average cafe. The way that seasoned cod roe served with the hot bread was very nice.

I know that Armwood Cottage is an affiliated cafe of atticroom, but I think that they did a good job in creating a totally different style of cafe. Although Starbucks or Tully's are the popular and profitable business model now, the affiliated cafe like these by attic planning could be the next step in the blue ocean (refer to the book "Blue Ocean Strategy"). There are a few attempts in Tokyo now, but whether it could be taken to the global stage (or was taken? or will be?), I do not know. But personally I think that the beauty of this kind of attempt stays as long as it is local and small.