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:

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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.

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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:

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And here is a photo of the shopfront:

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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.

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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).

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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:

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

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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.

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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.

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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