Chatei Hatou, Shibuya

Ever since the Blue Bottle folks wrote about it, I was intrigued.

The beautiful storefront stands out against its surrounding cement urban jungle.

20160419chateihatou01

 

Walking in is like going back in time.

I’m glad that the smokers sat at the opposite end lol. I didn’t realize there was indoor smoking at this place. Fortunately, it only affected me briefly when I went to the restroom in the same corner as the smokers.

20160419chateihatou02

 

Unique assortment of cups, and not a uniform collection.

20160419chateihatou03

20160419chateihatou04

 

The ritual selection of a cup for each customer, and cleaning with boiling / steaming water.

20160419chateihatou05

 

20160419chateihatou08

20160419chateihatou06

 

Home made cakes indeed!

20160419chateihatou07

 

20160419chateihatou09

20160419chateihatou10

 

The chiffon cake was good but nothing particularly special.

20160419chateihatou11

I think what many like about this place is its charming ambiance, thoughtful rituals with attention to detail, and old school feel.

Coffee-wise, the two cups were both very sour, which I think a lot of coffee snobs enjoy. But, I don’t like sour. So, not my cup of coffee.  Now that I’ve experienced it I don’t plan on coming back. I’ll stick to my SF hipster coffees.

Chatei Hatou
1 Chome-15-19 Shibuya
渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0002
Japan

NishiAnn Cafe, Setagaya

NishiAnn Cafe was beautiful, inspiring, and delicious; you can tell by how enthusiastic my camera became.

It is off the beaten path, and probably better that way. Despite that, I’ll be recommending this to everyone who asks me where to eat in & around Tokyo!

In a way, it is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. It’s right across the street from a school, not in a busy strip mall or other commercial area. I think that’s part of what makes it beautiful.

20160409nishianncafe00

20160409nishianncafe01

 

Took a moment for a self-portrait.

20160409nishianncafe02

 

Our host & friend came out to greet us in the front yard patio.

20160409nishianncafe03

20160409nishianncafe04

20160409nishianncafe06

20160409nishianncafe05

 

The cafe is adjacent to a residence.

20160409nishianncafe07

20160409nishianncafe08

 

Cute outside, cute inside!

20160409nishianncafe09

20160409nishianncafe10

20160409nishianncafe11

 

I actually liked the coffee here too.

20160409nishianncafe12

 

Soba with tempura.

20160409nishianncafe13

 

THIS. This was the best tempura I’ve ever had so far. Is it a tempura cake? Definitely coming back for this.

20160409nishianncafe14

 

House-made soba noodles.

20160409nishianncafe15

 

There was a dish with wasabi, daikon, and other seasonings intended to be added to the tempura sauce. It was definitely better together; makes me wonder why I haven’t seen this combination around the states.

20160409nishianncafe16

20160409nishianncafe17

 

My wife thought these were surprisingly awesome. In the US, these are often overly sweet and lacking flavor. Not the case here. Soft, flavorful from the fruits, and just sweet enough. Made in house, of course.

20160409nishianncafe18

20160409nishianncafe19

 

Obviously, I’m not the only one admiring its beauty. (Spelled wrong in the magazine though!)

20160409nishianncafe20

20160409nishianncafe21

 

And the bathroom is clean!

20160409nishianncafe22

 

NishiAnn Cafe
Yubinbango, 157-0076
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Okamoto 1-6-12
http://www.nishiann.com/access/index.html

Bitter + Sweet, Cupertino

Seems you can find San Francisco relics in the south bay area more and more these days.  This is a good thing, imho, and this is the reason I like Bitter + Sweet.  I can go to one place and find multiple things I like, where friends and I can gather and find something for everyone.

20151212Bitter+Sweet01

 

If you’re hungry, there’s panini sandwiches served with salad.  With just the right amount of salad dressing.20151212Bitter+Sweet04

 

Pastries from Satura Cakes out of Los Altos.20151212Bitter+Sweet0520151212Bitter+Sweet08

 

Coffee from Sightglass, San Francisco.  Their signature drink is the Red Velvet Latte.20151212Bitter+Sweet06

 

Ice cream from Humphry Slocombe, San Francisco.20151212Bitter+Sweet09

 

Pairing it together is awesome…  Sightglass affogato with Secret Breakfast!20151212Bitter+Sweet10

And the bathroom is clean and well-ventilated / AC’d.

Bitter + Sweet, 20560 Town Center Ln, Cupertino, CA 95014
http://bitter-sweet.com/index.html