Nene Goose Cafe

Nene Goose Cafe has been around for a while, and even though it’s fairly nearby and has a good reputation, I’d only been once before.  My friend and I decided to go a few weeks ago, just to try something new(ish).

Nene Goose is situated across the road from Kojima lake, which is a repository of water made of water that comes out of the water recycling plant in the Hachihama area of Tamano-shi.

Nene Goose only has a few types of food on their lunch menu, namely a couple of kinds of doria (a hot casserole-type dish), and 2 kinds of sandwiches.  Apparently the menu NEVER changes.  Since it was a hot day, we both opted for the teriyaki chicken sandwich lunch set.  The sandwich came with a chilled pumpkin soup, a salad, and a drink.

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The bread was kind of like a focaccia but softer (because it hadn’t actually been hot-pressed in a sandwich grill).  The teriyaki chicken itself was good; the sandwich also included fresh lettuce, shimeji mushrooms, and a mayo-wasabi dressing that was really nice.  The soup was also really good, and was well chilled.  The salad greens were pretty normal as far as salads in Japan go, but the dressing was out-of-this-world delicious!  It tasted like an oil-vinegar that had been made with sesame oil instead of olive oil, but it also had a bit of spice too, perhaps a Chinese ra-yu chili oil…?  I’d like to try to imitate this dressing at home; we’ll see how that venture works out.  My friend opted for an iced coffee with her meal; I chose an ice tea, which ended up being an iced Early Grey–yum!  Really refreshing and went well with the lunch.

For desserts, we could choose a cheap add-on dessert (which looked like a yogurt parfait), or pay  full price for something from the dessert case.  We opted for the desserts in the dessert case.  My friend chose the pear tiramisu:

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She said it was ok, but that it didn’t actually have any coffee flavoring in it at all.   Hmmm.

I opted for an orange mousse tart:

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Even though my friend warned me that the desserts at Nene Goose were “really bland”, I didn’t find that to be the case.  The mousse tart tasted of fresh oranges in a creme mousse base, with just the right amount of sweetness.  The crust was a little bland, but that didn’t really detract from the dessert as a whole.

The only really bad thing about the meal was the coffee.  Even by my really lax standards, this was not a very good cup of coffee.

The lunch plates were 800 Yen, plus 400 Yen for dessert and 200 Yen for an extra coffee.  Reasonably priced for such a tasty lunch.

I neglected to take photos of the interior, but I like the way the cafe is decorated–simple, contemporary with lots of wood (floors, tables) and aluminum & chrome.  Here’s someone else’s photo of the interior area:

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The dessert case. (photo by anju)

Nene Goose interior by Natsugou

Nice wood tables and contemporary chairs. (photo by natsugou)

There’s never anyone out on the deck, even on nice days.  I’m guessing that the reason might be due to either the smell or the knats that come off of Kojima lake.  Here’s what the deck looks like:

NeNe Goose by konyharu

(photo by konyharu)

+ What I liked about this cafe:  Excellent service, good food, nice atmosphere, nice interior style.

– What I didn’t like about this cafe:  The coffee.  Otherwise not much, but if I were pressed to chose one point, it would be the never-changing menu.  It would be nice to have seasonal item or two, or at least change the menu once a year or so.

Parking available.

Hours: 9:00~19:00 (open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays); closed on Wednesdays.

Date visited: June 11, 2013

Address: Tamano-shi, Hachihama-cho, Miishi 1607-8 (玉野市八浜町見石1607-8)

* P.S.  For another and different review of this cafe, check out Luc Gougeon’s food blog: http://foodietopography.net/nene-goose-cafe/

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