Tucked away on the second floor of a building not far from Jiyugaoka Station is a nook of comfort and relaxation. Having been turned away once before during busy evening hours, I’ve since wanted to try the elusive little cafe called Cafe One.
Inside, the cafe is anything but elaborate. In fact, it’s a quilt, a collection of living spaces taken from many homes. A couch from here, an armchair from there.
When I arrived for a late, 3pm, lunch, there was only one other customer quietly enjoying the remnants of her lunch set over a book. Select your favorite seat, said the waitress, and I did as instructed, well, as best as I could considering it’s hard to have a preference in a place you’ve never been. Cozy chairs with room for my heaping bags. That’ll do.
Who can say no to a window seat? I tried carefully not to knock over the flower pots on the window sill, but made no promises. When the menu arrived, I initially felt a bit disappointed, misreading the kanji (meh), thinking the options were a Chinese-style rice bowl or a bacon-vegetable soup with cheese bread. I was craving rice but I’m not one for Chinese food cravings. Sadly, and happily, I was mistaken. My memory of kanji may not be the equivalent of an elementary school education here, but at least I would be having Korean-style rice for lunch. (For those of you who adore the Chinese characters that kanji are, I am well aware the two are very different; however, I was hungry, and my brain was dead at the time.)
Lunch arrived and it was glorious. I rarely have Korean food, because spiciness is not my stomach’s friend. However, this was light on seasoning and high in freshness. Delish!
Next up, a chocolate latte! Though I asked for light chocolate syrup, it was certainly sweet. I could’ve done without that sweet ending to my meal (Me, saying no to chocolate? To sweet things?! Don’t worry – I’m okay, just trying to cut back on sugar.)
I made a few friends today. Cafe latte man. And a few sheep in the bathroom.
Oh, and signing the log? Flashback to coolness. Who keeps a message log for people to sign anymore? Only a few places, and I think they’re all in Japan. Or Disney World. Either way, I was happy to stumble upon what I thought was a mini dessert menu (that would’ve been cool, too, though not for my waistline).
Needless to say, I took many photos and enjoyed my time at this new cafe. Well, the cafe isn’t new, rather I was a new customer. Although I am loyal to my favorites (Fete Cafe, Ivy Place, Aloha Table, Pure Cafe, L’Atelier de Maison de Campagne, among others), I felt I ought to venture out and try something new. That and Fete is closed on Tuesdays.
The moral of the story is go out, my friends, and try that cafe you’ve never visited. You may just be in for a lovely (and tasty!) surprise.