Neighbor Coffee Company

“Cool!” and “Yum!” sum up my experience at Neighbor Coffee Company, a sweet little cafe located just at the entrance to the up-and-coming “Jeans Street” designer shopping area of Kojima, Kurashiki-shi.

I first learned of Neighbor Coffee Company from Luc Gougeon’s blog.  You can read his review here: http://foodietopography.net/neighbor-coffee-company/   As a prelude, Luc’s photos of the shop are really nice–much nicer than mine, in fact, and he obviously knows much more about coffee than I do.

Neighbor Coffee Company is located in central Kojima, on the north side of the Shimin Koryu Center (which used to be the Seto Ohashi Bridge Museum).  It’s on the second floor of a corner building and is accessed by a really narrow circular staircase.  The cafe doesn’t really stand out when you’re looking at it from the street.

DSC_1962

Once you’re inside the cafe, it looks totally different.

DSC_1964

The cafe is bright, spacious, and modern but feels very relaxing and inviting.  I love the mix of concrete, glass, metal, and wood; the simple lines of everything blend well to great effect.  The concrete flooring has a “reclaimed” feel that is inviting.  The two main walls are made mostly of glass, and even though the view isn’t especially great, the effect still has that “wow” factor.

At the counter, I was greeted with this sight:

DSC_1963Look at those gorgeous doughnuts, arranged “just so” in their individual paper cups and sparkling like gems in the showcase.  I was visiting with a friend, who ordered a Wild Blueberry doughnut and a Mango juice.  I chose an Organic Sugar doughnut and a White Chocolate Iced Latte.

DSC_1970

I am a freak for white chocolate and forgot that I don’t really like sweetened coffee, and this was pretty sweet.  However, it was still really good because the underlying coffee was good–rich and smooth.  It had obviously been properly made.  The Mason jar-esque mugs were pretty cute too.

The doughnuts were AWESOME.  Yes, they were more expensive than the 100 Yen donuts from Mr. Donut or Krispy Kreme but they were really worth their price.  My friend and I traded bites, and even though the Organic Sugar doughnut was really great, the Wild Blueberry was even better!  If you go to Neighbor, you should definitely try the Wild Blueberry doughnut.

Here’s a photo of the full counter:

DSC_1968Unfortunately, the really cute guy who made my coffee was bending down when I snapped this shot.

Even though Neighbor Coffee Company markets their own coffee, they told me that they buy their beans already roasted from their supplier, who they did not want to reveal.

Even though we were in the cafe for a couple of hours, there was only one other customer on a late Sunday morning.  I’m surprised that such a great place isn’t busy all the time.

Outdoor seating is also available (see Luc’s blog, above, for a photo).

+ What I liked about this shop:  Awesome interior, nice service, fabulous doughnuts and coffee.

– What I didn’t like about this shop:  Not much.  No dedicated parking available, but there are two pay parking lots across the street.

Neighbor Coffee Company also offers sandwiches as well as a wide array of coffee and juice beverages, but it was impossible to get a shot of the menu without glare from the glass frame.  For menu information, etc. see the website and / or Facebook page, both listed below.  The website is minimal, but the Facebook page has nice some photos.

Website:  http://neighbor-coffee.com/index.html

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/NeighborCoffeeCompany

Address:  岡山県倉敷市児島味野2-2-39 2F  Okayama-ken, Kurashiki-shi, Kojima, Ajino 2-2-39  2F

Tel:  086-472-5183

Hours:  8:00 – 20:00  Closed on Thursdays

Map:

(*NOTE* : This map shows that the coffee shop is mid-block, but actually it is on the corner)

Date visited:  July 28, 2013

Cannery Row

What’s up with all these all-you-can-eat luncheries in Japan at the moment?  This is another one of those places, but a very pleasant way to spend a lunch hour (or two).

My friend introduced this restaurant to me.  We went as a fairly large group consisting of 3 adults and 4 children; even without a reservation, we were seated promptly.  That being said, I think this place is probably really full during the proper lunch hour.  We went a little bit later than the lunch rush.

The restaurant is situated in the western portion of Okayama city.  It’s a fairly small, one-story building surrounded by tall buildings.

DSC_1825From the parking lot, it looks like a slightly weedy oasis.

Here is a shot of the entrance:

DSC_1827

You can barely see the entrance for all the olive trees, potted plants, and herbs and shrubs lining the path.

Once inside the door, you can’t help but notice the dessert case:

Cannery Row dessert case

Look at those gorgeous cakes and tarts!!!

The menu consists mostly of pastas and pizzas; the prices fall into the range of 1,350~1,450 Yen, and this includes the all-you-can-eat buffet, salad bar, and the drink bar.  I ordered a bacon, tomato, and basil pizza to share with my son, but I didn’t take a photo because it had been delivered to the table while I was a the buffet, and he ate a good portion of it before I got back.  The pizza was thin crust and was really good; it looked as if it had been baked in a proper pizza oven.  The buffet consists mostly of appetizers and various salads, but also included a curry pilaf, chilled corn potage, and really good focaccia bread.

DSC_1829The salad bar was incredibly basic: just salad greens, grated carrot, sliced onion, purple cabbage, two dressings, croutons & bacon bit toppings.  Those pretty yellow peppers and bottles of vinegar and oil are just for decoration.  The best part of the salad bar?–the HUGE wheel of cheese!  That cheese was awesome and would make anything taste great.  This was an instance of “simple is best”.

DSC_1830

After lunch, we chose to have dessert.  You can’t just order one dessert; you have to order three!  You get three small desserts for 280 Yen, which is a really good deal.  The waitress brings a dessert cart around and plates up your desserts as you order them.

DSC_1833

Here are a few close-ups of our desserts with descriptions:

DSC_1834

(Left to right) My son ordered a slice of mango tart, a slice of white peach tart, and a slice of cheesecake.

DSC_1838

(Front to back) I also ordered a slice of mango tart, a slice of zuccotto, and a red berry triffle.

All I can say is YUM!!!  Thank goodness, my son couldn’t eat all of his dessert so I got to try to cheesecake and the white peach tart as well.  Everything was outrageously good.  The zuccotto was especially good–it was filled with fresh whipped cream blended with flaked chocolate, walnuts, and rum.

I couldn’t really get a good photo of the seating area because there were just too many people in the restaurant, but it was done in an “Italian country” theme: stucco walls, calico tablecloths, and Italian foodstuffs decorating the plate racks that went around the restaurant.  Even the bathrooms were tastefully done; I love the combination of pink walls, turquoise blue trim, and terra cotta tiles.

Cannery Row bathroomOn the way out, I spotted another huge wheel of cheese:   DSC_1841It turns out that this was a fake one used for display, but I asked the waitress how much the wheel on the salad bar cost; she said it cost upwards of 200,000 Yen (that’s over $2,000 U.S. dollars, folks!)!

I asked her if the desserts were made on-site, which she confirmed.  The desserts were so pretty that I couldn’t resist taking another shot of them.

DSC_1840

+ What I liked about this restaurant:  Excellent desserts; good service; good food; cute interior; good children’s menu (the children’s menu consisted of the buffett and drink bar for 500 Yen, but they can also share an entree with an adult) .

What I didn’t like about this restaurant:  Somewhat cramped seating (tables were too close to the wall, making it hard to get in and out); narrow paths around the buffet areas; really loud music that made conversation difficult.

Address: キャナリィ・ロウ岡山西店  岡山県岡山市問屋町4丁目102 Cannery Row West Japan, Okayama-ken, Okayama-shi, Toiyacho 4-chome 102

Tel:  086-243-0708

Website:  http://www.canneryrow.co.jp/ (in Japanese, but includes no information about this franchaise of restaurants or the menus)

Date visited:  July 25, 2013

Cafe di Espresso

Located *inside* the  combined book store and CD / DVD / comic rental shop TSUTAYA in Tamano-shi, this cafe appears to be a Starbucks-wannabe.  They have a similar style of decor, and similar menu offerings.  Still, since we’re unlikely to get a Starbucks in Tamano-shi anytime soon, Cafe di Espresso isn’t a bad runner-up.

The store can be accessed from inside the TSUTAYA shop or from the street.  Here’s what the entrance from the TSUTAYA side looks like:

DSC_1677

Since the cafe is connected to the shop, I understand that TSUTAYA has a real need to protect their merchandise from shoplifting, but the magnetic gates are really ugly and detract from the atmosphere.

You can see what the store looks like from the street side on the website (see link below).  It’s also not very attractive, but again I understand that they’re limited by the TSUTAYA building.

Once you’re past the ugly magnetic gates, the interior is actually nice.  Here are some shots of the counter and the main room:

DSC_1675

DSC_1673

See what I mean about it being Starbuck-y?   Still, Cafe di Espresso has more open floor space than Starbucks does (at least the ones in Japan–they are so overstuffed with cushy chairs that it’s difficult to nagivate the room), and I like that they are attached to a book store.  The smoking section is completely walled off from the non-smoking section, which is also a big plus.  Cafe di Espresso also provides a nice selection of current magazines (in Japanese, of course), in case you didn’t buy anything at TSUTAYA.

Cafe di Espresso is a subsidary of the Kohikan chain of cafes.

Cafe di Espresso must do pretty decent business; everytime I pass by, there are always a good number of people inside, and the snack and dessert case is always nearly empty.  Unlike Starbucks, Cafe di Espresso usually only has 1 or 2 people on staff, so the person taking your order is the person who also makes your drink.   It’s not a chain-production kind of place, even though it does obviously fall into the “fast food” category.

They are currently running a Hawaiian Cafe Fair, which runs through September 3rd, 2013.

DSC_1676

I ordered the Coconut Coffee Frosty, and my sons each got a Strawberry Frosty (not on the Hawaiian menu, obviously, but also a seasonal drink).

DSC_1678The Coconut Coffee Frosty was a good treat, but there wasn’t much coconut about it other than the toasted bits on top of all that darn whipped cream.  It would have been nice if it had included (and maybe it did but I couldn’t tell) some coconut-flavored syrup.  The boys’ Strawberry Frosties were REALLY good–I highly recommend these if you can get one before they stop serving them.

+ What I like about this cafe:  Service was friendly but not over-the-top, large drink selection, ok to bring your kids to this cafe, open feel of the interior, Wi-Fi available.

– What I didn’t like about this cafe:  Chain store, but hey, I knew that before I went in.

Address:  〒706-0011 岡山県玉野市宇野1-11-1 TSUTAYA玉野店内 1F Okayama-ken, Tamano-shi, Uno 1-11-1, Tsutaya Tamano 1F

Tel:  0863-33-6266

Hours:  Everyday 9:00am to 11:00pm; open year-round

Website:  http://www.ufs.co.jp/shop-search/shop_id/294

Map:

Date visited:  July 19, 2013

Nene Goose Cafe…revisited

My friend and her sister wanted to meet for lunch, so we agreed to meet at Nene Goose Cafe again because it’s central to my friend’s house and to mine.  Today I decided to try something different to what I ordered last time.  I got the Korean Bibinbap-style casserole dish; my friend got the curried ground beef and vegetable casserole, and her sister got a seafood pasta casserole.

The casserole lunch sets were 1,100 Yen for the main dish, a side salad, and a drink.  Again, I opted for an iced tea since the tea I ordered on my last visit was really good.

Verdict: It was pretty darn good, and very filling.  The casserole had a rice base, and included cooked vegetables, sliced beef, a Korean-style sauce, a poached egg, topped with white sauce and cheese, and garnished with Japanese mizuna.  The salad was good, but the dressing didn’t have that “Wow!” factor that it did the first time we ate at Nene Goose; it definately needed more sesame oil and chili oil.  The tea also was so-so, and lacked the rich flavor that it did on the first visit.

DSC_1664

For dessert my friend and I got the roll cake, which came with a side of vanilla ice cream.  The dessert was an extra 200 Yen with the lunch set.

DSC_1667

The cake was very fresh: the sponge was soft and dense, the whipped cream and custard was fresh, and the fresh fruit (ruby grapefruit and orange) was really nice.  But it was really bland.  This cake looks very pretty but it needs a bit more sugar to bring out the flavors of the creams and the fruit.

Still, I really like the interior of this cafe, especially the flooring.  Here is a photo of the entrance area and the dessert case:

DSC_1665

As with the service on our first visit, the servers were really friendly and outgoing.

I guess it just goes to show that something that seems great maybe is just so-so, depending on the day that you visit.

Date revisited:  July 18, 2013

***For shop information, map, etc., please see the original post on this cafe (in June 2013 of the archives).

Tokyo Cruise Cafe

Finally, a proper cafe entry.  Sort of.

Tokyo Cruise Cafe is located inside the Hinode boat terminal, which is just next to the Yurikamome Hinode train station.  The main offerings are coffee, soft drinks, and frozen yogurt.  The shop is not really a proper shop since it’s inside the terminal building; here is a photo of the counter (taken from the website, see link below):

Tokyo Cruise Cafe counter

And another photo of the counter that I took, with the staff:

DSC_1592

My sons each got a frozen yogurt topped with Oreo cookies and sprinkles; being a tropical fruit lover, I ordered one topped with pineapple and coconut sauce.

DSC_1593

The yogurt was good; it was sweet but not cloying, and the toppings were good.  The bowls made from waffle cones were cute too.

Tokyo Cruise cafe has a contempory sample window displaying all of the topping options:

DSC_1591The cafe is in an awkward location; I think the only customers are the ones coming off of the Sumida-gawa river cruise (which is great fun; I recommend doing this if you’re in the Tokyo area and have about an hour to spare).

+ What I liked about this cafe:  Good yogurt, cute display case.

– What I didn’t like about this cafe:  Awkward location, no real distinction between the cafe and the terminal building.  The cafe shares washrooms with the termimal building–yucky.  No trash cans.

Address:東京都港区海岸2-7-104

Tel:  0120-977-311

Website: http://www.suijobus.co.jp/img/home/menu.jpg

(this is actually just a short introductory page on the “water bus” /  river cruise website)

Map:

Date visited:  July 7, 2013

* For information on Sumida river cruises in Tokyo, see:  http://www.suijobus.co.jp/   This page is in Japanese, but some pages include bi-lingual information.  Also, please note that more than 1 company offers cruises on the river.

Sweet Box Crepes

Again, not a cafe, but a take-out crepe shop.  This shop is famous in Japan because it’s located in a hugely popular area of Tokyo *and* because their crepes are really good.

Sweet Box Crepes are located very close to JR Harajuku Station, just at the entrance to the famous Takeshita-dori shopping area.  Here is a shot of Takeshita-dori on a Saturday afternoon, taken from just in front of the crepe shop:

DSC_1510

And here is a photo of the shopfront:

DSC_1513

The shopfront is tiny and there is only one person taking orders and money, but the shop is actually long and narrow, and several people were in the back making the crepes.  The crepes were made-to-order, so the crepe pastry was really soft.

Here is a photo of the sample window; all of these are obviously fake, but look at all the choices!  You can see from the above photo as well that the samples were displayed on both the front and the side of the shop.

DSC_1506

Even after having lived in Japan for nearly 20 years, I *still* think these wax / plastic food displays are very cool (not to mention helpful for people who don’t speak Japanese!).

My son got a strawberry & creme crepe with chocolate sauce.  Of course, he couldn’t eat it all, so I got half.  It was a really nice treat (even though he only left me one strawberry).

DSC_1515

The crepes were reasonably priced; prices vary depending on fillings and range between 250 yen and 480 yen.  Sweet Box offers a huge variety of crepes with fresh fruit, whipped cream and / or custard cream, hot fillings, savory fillings, and ice cream fillings, not to mention a variety of toppings.  You can even get a mini slice of cake on top of your crepe!

If you’re in the Harajuku area, I recommend trying Sweet Box at least once.

+ What I liked about this shop:  Friendly, bi-lingual staff; tons of choices; reasonable prices; food is made-to-order, awesome display cases.

– What I didn’t like about this shop:  Nothing, but it’s just a take-away counter, not a proper sit-down shop.

Address:  東京都渋谷区神宮前1-17-5   Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-17-5

Hours:  11:00am to 10:30pm; open all year around (no holidays)

Website:  http://www.crepes.jp/

*  See website for a -50 Yen coupon and photos of the full menu.

Map:

Date visited:  July 6, 2013

Tameals Cafe & Bar

Technically and by self-definition Tameals calls itself a cafe and a bar, and it’s located right in the middle of Tokyo’s JR Shinagawa station.  I happened to be with friends and we were looking for a quick dinner before saying good-night; Tameals was the only place that looked appealing to most (some?) people in the group and which could accommodate our group of 7 people (albeit at separate tables).  We missed out on the “cafe” part but were happy to partake of the dinner & pub selections.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the interior, mostly because it was really crowded and some people don’t like having their photo taken by strangers, but it was a nice place.  The main seating area had a very “Irish pub” kind of feel.  There was a main counter at the bar, several smaller tables for 2-4 people on the floor, and a long counter that ran all around the pub.  The counters faced the windows, which were huge–good for people watching.  The counters, tables, chairs, and stools were all done in dark wood which lent a relaxing atmosphere to the room.

Here is a photo of the main bar from the Tameals homepage (see link below):

Tameals Bar

My sons ordered a plate of sausages and a plate of fried potatoes to share between them.  They also got real Coca-Cola in the old-fashioned bottles:

DSC_1522

The sausages were served with a nice European-style mustard.

DSC_1523

The fries were garnished with sea salt, rosemary, and a clove of deep fried garlic.

I opted for the Moroccan rice for 890 Yen.  It was a rice dish topped with a Moroccan sauce (a little spicy, a bit like curry but with a different flavor), fried vegetables, a kebab (lamb?), and a dollop of yogurt.

DSC_1521

Yum.  I love ethnic food, and this was really good.

The best part of my meal?  The mojito!  It was made with lots of fresh mint and just the right amount of rum and soda water.  Very refreshing after a hot afternoon of walking around in Tokyo.

DSC_1519

This was so good, I might try to make them at home.

Tameals is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between.

+ What I liked about this place:  Decor was relaxing, good food, good drinks.

– What I didn’t like about this place:  A bit crowded, but it’s in the middle of one of the busiest stations in Tokyo, so that obviously can’t be helped.

Date visited: July 6, 2013

Address:  TAMEALS 品川店、東京都港区高輪 3-26-27  エキュート品川サウス

TAMEALS Shinagawa shop, Tokyo, Minato-ku, Takanawa 3-26-27 Ecute Shinagawa South

TEL: 03-5421-8011

Hours: 7:00am to 11:00pm (until 10:00pm on Sundays and holidays)

homepage:  http://www.conception-gp.com/tameals/

Map:

Map of location *inside* Shinagawa station:

Tameals station map

Litofun Italiano

Again, this is not really a cafe, but a full-on pizzeria.  Still, I had such a good time at this shop that I couldn’t resist writing about it.  I visited the shop with a group of fellow PTA moms.

Here is what the restaurant looks like from the outside:

DSC_1491

We got there before they opened at 11:00am, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves for a while.  It really filled up quickly, though, and there was a huge line on the porch.

The interior was fun and stylish.

DSC_1473

Basically, Litofun is an all-you-can-eat pizzeria.  The system works like this: you order a pasta dish or a casserole, and then you can eat all the pizza you want, plus you get a salad, dessert, and unlimited drinks to go with your entree; the price was 1,290 Yen for all of that.  The restaurant offers fresh pasta dishes, but only 2 types of fresh pasta and a limit of 5 servings each.  Luckily, there were 5 of us in the group, and we got there early enough to be able to order the fresh pasta.  We all chose the Bacon & Basil Carbonara special:

DSC_1482

The salad was actually served first; it was a gorgeous salad of mixed greens, topped with just the right amount of creamy dressing and a dash of powdered paprika.  Very good.

The pasta was excellent too, but actually a little too rich.

The staff bake various pizzas and bring them to your table, and you take a slice (or two) of whatever kinds you like.  You can also request pizza toppings and combinations.

DSC_1479

DSC_1481

They also offered sweet, dessert pizzas.  The pizzas are obviously thin-crust, so it’s easy to eat a lot.  The pizzas are made in a gas-fired pizza oven.

Funlitto pizza oven 2

DSC_1476

Here are some photos of the drink bar, the dessert case, and the chocolate cake I selected:

DSC_1478

DSC_1475

DSC_1486

The desserts were probably not made on-site; they were ok, but nothing flash.  The draw at this restaurant is obviously the pizza.  A good place to go if you want to eat a lot.  I ate so much that I didn’t need dinner that evening, nor breakfast the next morning.

+ What I liked about this restaurant:  Endless, fresh-baked pizza, super-friendly service, nice atmosphere, big tables.

– What I didn’t like about this restaurant:  The bathroom was way too small for the restaurant and looked very cobbled together; no real view from the huge windows–a few potted trees would have been nice. 

Address:  〒710-0011 岡山県倉敷市徳芳117-1 Okayama-ken, Kurashiki-shi, Tokubou 117-1

Tel: 086-441-7418  FAX: 086-441-7428

*There are also Litofun Italiano restaurants in Okayama city and Tsuyama city; check the website (in Japanese) for locations and details.

website: http://www.litofun.co.jp/index.html

Date visited: July 4, 2013

モア ガーデン Moa Garden

Technically this shop is not a cafe, because they don’t serve coffee and there is no where to sit and eat.  It’s basically a bakery, but a really nice one at that; hence, it’s write-up here.

Moa Garden is one of those increasingly rare shops where everything is made on site, and as a result the shop smells FANTASTIC!  If they could bottle that smell, I would be a happy customer.  There is a little window at the front of the shop where you can watch the pastry chef make cakes.

Moa Garden is apparently well-known for their chou a la cremes.  We (the group of PTA moms I was with) visited the shop at 10:00 am, when they open.  At that time, there were already several customers in line for the chou a la cremes.  Of the three types Moa Garden makes, they were almost sold out of two of the types.  Here are some photos of the chou a la cremes in the oven, and the three types for sale:

Moa Garden oven

Moa Garden shou a la creme

The staff had written out explanations on the different types of chou a la cremes, but I couldn’t buy just one or two: I bought a few of each type, for the sake of comparison.  And at 110 Yen each, they are very reasonably priced.  The staff filled them with custard cream *after* we ordered so that the pastry would stay crisp.

The chou a la cremes were all good; I don’t think I would recommend one type over any other.  The pastry was light and crisp, the custard was fluffy and vanilla-scented (with real vanilla!).  Good stuff, all the way around.

I didn’t buy anything out of the cake window, but I will next time I’m in the area.  Look at these darling cakes!:

moa garden cake window

Everything was beautifully presented and topped with seasonal fruit.  I don’t know any child or adult who could pass up one of those adorable Totoro cakes.

The shop is nothing special to look at from the outside, and you might not even notice it if you’re just driving by.

Moa Garden storefront

However, if you need a nice cake or a selection of individual pieces, I definately recommend this shop.  Located just across from JR Nakasho station, it’s easy to find.  Parking available.

+ What I liked about this shop:  Friendly service, gorgeous handcrafted cake, reasonable prices.

– What I didn’t like about this shop:  Nothing, really, but the exterior could use a slight makeover.

Address: 岡山-倉敷市鳥羽26-11 Okayama-ken, Kurashi-shi, Toba 26-11

Tel & Fax:  086-463-6007

Date visited: July 4, 2013.

K’s Garden

After giving up on having lunch at the Iine Cafe & Bakery (see previous post), we went down the road and found K’s Garden.  We decided to stop because it looked like a nice place, and frankly we (my husband and I) were getting hungry.  Also, it was pretty obvious that there weren’t going to be many choices up north.

K’s garden has an extensive menu, ranging from western classics (spaghetti, pizza) to full-on Japanese teishoku (set meal that includes everything).  My sons claimed to not be very hungry, so we decided to get a variety of things and share.  We ordered a curry & rice, a mixed pizza, a bacon and spinach spaghetti, and a plate of fries.

DSC_1347

Curry & Rice with pickles and salad: 1,000 Yen

DSC_1349

Mixed pizza: 800 Yen

DSC_1348

Bacon & spinach spaghetti, salad, and soup: 1,200 Yen

Are you noticing the boiled egg theme here?  My sons both hate boiled eggs, so it was hard to get them to eat at this cafe.  They *did* eat, but only after we’d picked all the egg off.

The curry–I kid you not– was obviously from a heat’n’eat pouch, the kind that’s sold at Deo (the cheapest discount supermarket) for 69 Yen a pack.  I should know, because I always buy some to have on hand for lunches or dinners when I don’t have time to cook a proper meal.  The pizza was also very obviously a frozen entree that had been “jazzed up” with boiled egg.  The crust was absolutely horrible.  The spahetti was the only thing that tasted like it had been actually made in the kitchen.  That being said, it was ok.  Not great, but edible.

We didn’t order coffee or dessert, because really, lunch was WAAYYY overpriced for what it was and I just didn’t have the heart to waste my husband’s money on something that I suspected would be really horrible.  By the time the meal was done, we were just really ready to cut out of there as quickly as possible.  While the cafe wasn’t crowded, there were a good number of other customers in the cafe: there was a middle-aged couple having a Japanese meal, a young couple came in on a date, and a large group of women came in for drinks and dessert.  But why?–the food was really quite awful.

The service was acceptable, but nothing spectacular.

The only reason I could see for the other customers being there was the interior and the garden.  The interior was actually well done, with big tables and lots of room around each table.  The style was kind of natural / French country-ish.  About half of the seating was arranged in a sun room, which looked out onto the garden.

DSC_1363

Sunroom, viewed from the garden.

The garden was gorgeous, but one needn’t waste good money on eating at K’s Garden when the garden can be enjoyed from the parking lot.  It’s clear that K (whoever she is) spends much more time in her garden than in the kitchen.

Here is a collage I made of some of the garden features:

K's Garden (Mimasaka‐shi):garden2 6月22日

+ What I liked about this cafe:  The garden, the interior, sunroom seating with a nice view. The servings were large–if the food was better, this would have been a good thing.

– What I didn’t like about this cafe:  The food was prepackaged / frozen and overpriced.  Weird menu of mixed styles–pick one, either western or Japanese.

Date visited: June 22, 2013

Address (although I suspect you won’t be going):  Okayama-ken, Mimasaku-shi, Yunogo 444 (岡山県 美作市湯郷444)

Hours: 11:00am~9:00pm