If you know me, you know that I really love donuts. My business partner & I had a meeting today at a cafe that specializes in tofu donuts, and I confess that I was thinking, “Ah, tofu donuts…probably not so good.” WRONG. These are the best tofu donuts I have ever had. In fact, they are some of the best donuts I’ve had. Period.
Balloom is a small cafe on the west side of JR Okayama station; it’s owned & run by two entrepreneuring sisters who grew up in a tofu-making family (hence the tofu-rich menu). The cafe is small but elegantly stylish 2-storey building that is decorated with a SoHo feel: dark-wood antique furniture mixed with a few newer, artsy pieces, glittery lights, and rich jewel-toned walls make for a stimulating yet very relaxed atmosphere.
I absolutely adore this light fixture, which hangs in the stairwell between the first and second floors. It’s a wire fixture adorned with little colorful birds.
As we were there at tea time, we just had a cup of tea and a donut each. What a treat! The tea was served in generously-sized footed cups. The tofu donuts look plain, but were oh-so-fabulous. Even though the donuts are made with no sugar, eggs, or milk, they were remarkably sweet, soft, and fluffy. I also ordered a few for take-out, because I knew my family would also enjoy them (they did!).
The dishware is all from New York; it’s probably difficult to see in the photo, but the donut plate is adorned with a New York-themed design.
The lunch menu features selections such as a specially-made curry with rice, seasonal quiche, tofu ‘donburi’, tofu lasagna, a green smoothie made with soy milk from the family tofu shop, a fruit tart, and a few other select items. The cafe turns into a bar with a completely different menu at 6:00pm.
Next time I visit, I’m going to have the quiche lunch! With a tofu donut or two for dessert, of course.
+ What I like about this cafe: Elegant decor, menu featuring a few well-thought out & high quality items, friendly staff, owners that take pride in their product and enjoy sharing it with customers, easy access from the station.
– What I don’t like about this cafe: Not much! No dedicated parking but it’s in the city center so that can’t really be expected.
Address: 〒700-0024 岡山市北区駅元町21-13 / Okayama-shi, Kita-ku, Ekimoto-cho 21-13
Tel: 086-250-7363 / Mobile: 080-6263-7377
Date visited: January 15, 2015