Tag Archives: Cafe

Health Food Cafe: Cafe Belle Equipe Vegetable in Shizuoka City!

Service: Very friendly if a bit shy
Facilities: Very clean. Beautiful toilets
Prices: Reasonable. Very good value
Strong points: Healthy food. Great set lunches. Beautiful array of cakes.

The idea of a beauty salon company opening a cafe/restaurant serving health food is a very sound idea to me. After all, it is only one step going further in taking care of the looks of one’s body!
Two years ago, Belle Equipe Co. decided to open Cafe Belle Equipe Vegetable in Tenmacho, one of the newly fashionable districts of this large city, and it was about time I paid it a visit for lunch after having cycled past it so often!

After I climbed an outside stairs and penetrated through an elaborate entrance both filled with an almost retro bric-a-brac I discovered that the place was far larger than expected.

It is basically divided into two rooms at a different level. One can choose from small tables for privacy, an enormous table seating at least twelve or the second room for even better privacy.

Individual space in Japan is at a premium and I always appreciate some form of comfortable aloofness.
Interestingly enough, customers come from all ages, a good sign of the quality.

No, they won’t propose you to eat in heaven!
The place is a bit of nicely organized jumble and is worth a second and third look as they also sell all kinds of biscuits, cakes and even objets!
As for eating and drinking, they serve lunch, dinner, drinks and cakes in the afternoon and alcohol at all times!

There was just too much to choose from for my first visit, what with more than 4 regular set lunches and two specialties of the day and an array of single dishes.
I hadn’t eaten a true hamburger for a long time, so I opted for the Hamburger Set Lunch which looked so healthy on the menu!

I must confess I was surprised at the size and generosity of the hamburger plate!

Now the hamburger had two great qualities:
-The meat being a combination of chicken and read meat, it was very light in spite of its size and was heads, shoulders and whatever above the fare of some notorious hamburger diners! And certainly far healthier!
-The sauce had been made out of real tomatoes, not something out of a cheap can!

And it was accompanied by a mountain of vegetables! Talk about good balance!

It was not all as it was served with another salad, vegetable miso soup and rice!

Kabocha and almond salad!

Rice can be ordered plain, whole or both. I opted for the latter!

I had black tea to “finish” the meal. Certainly more elegant than usual!

The sugar is individually wrapped!

Now, I must admit my health took a bit of a bashing when I just couldn’t resist choosing one of the more than 12 cakes on display!
I know that one single reason for coming back will be the investigation of those cakes!

Flan aux prunes/hard custard and prunes
Definitely not a Japanese concept!
Bother, I will have to wait until next week for my next visit unless I can manage some free time for another cake!

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tenmacho,, 10-1, Villa Tenmacho, 2F
Tel.: 054-251-0200
Business hours: l0:00~22:00 (11:00~22:00 on Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00~21:00 on National Holidays)
Parties (small to large) welcome! Special party menus.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)


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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Shizuoka Cocktail Bar: BAR NO’AGE

The Japan Blog List

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After a grand dinner at Aquavite, the best Italian restaurant in Shizuoka City, I just could not resist my good friend, Mr. Naohiro Momose’s invitation to his favourite Cocktail Bar, NO’AGE.
As the name indicates, all customers of all ages are welcome. I’m sure that a certain Roaf in Yokohama would make it his personal lair as it is not only a great place with grand drinks, but is also very reasonable!

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For our first round Naohiro opted for Fennel Gin Fizz, our friend Mika chose a more feminine drink, Karien (Greek for chestnut Liqueur) including plenty of cream, while I went for a NO’AGE creation called Kinkan (small ornages) Vodka Gimlet.
To tell you the truth, these went down a bit too quickly!

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Poor Mika being left behind, Naohiro ordered a very classical (very) Dry martini, while I chose to check the Chestnut Liqueur (French) they used for our poor lass’ brew.

While we nibbled on a welcome snack, we engaged into a serious conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Itani, the young owners who opened this cozy bar on the 21st of June 2007. Being a Monday, I noticed taht the place was quite busy for the beginning of the week, a sure sign of its popularity. Ladies and gents were equally represented, while I was the only old geezer on hand.

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Poor little Mika was still struggling finishing her own glass while the “men” were asking the one for the road:
Naohiro obtained “up to date”, a Bourbon based concoction while I asked something based on Mirabelle. I was served a succulent “Allegro” containing Mirabelle, Apricot and lemon juice (shaken).

It was about time to leave then as work was in wait for all of us the next morning.
But the place was undoubtedly too welcoming and knowledgeable to forget easily!
Especially when you consider we hadn’t been able to even scratch the menu, which by the way includes plenty for teetals!
Problem is that I will have to wait at least a week before my next visit as I promised my (???) half I would cook all week!

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-cho, 3-6, ACT-7, 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-2536615
Business Hours: 18:00~02.00
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

Shizuoka Music Cafe Bar: Lifetime

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On November 27th, 2007, Fugetsuro Hotel revamped their first floor completely to replace the simple cake-shop/cafe they previously had with a very much larger cafe bar in Kutsunoya Machi across Shizuoka JR Station.
As far as the cafe itself, it is very probably the only decent Hotel Cafe Bar in town.
It is large, but not overwhelming, seating about 80 people. One can either choose a seat at the counter, inside the room or in one of the street-facing lodges. Excellent background jazz music and friendly staff.
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Do not be too harsh on the English written on the menu. The place does serve quite a few dishes apart of their cakes made on site that you can either savour inside or take home.
As for drinks, every taste is covered as they include very good coffees and a surprisingly long array of teas served in beautifull china.
For the late drinkers (and their companions), malt whiskies, beer, wine, sake and even a kome/rice shochu by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City called Saisuke!

Now the big plus is the regular Jazz Concert Programme every Thursday, but forthat you had better consult their homepage! (the list id simply too longand impressive for this posting!)

Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Kutsunoya machi, 11-1
Tel.: 054-250-0131
Business Hours: Tuesdays: 13:00~25:00
Saturdays: 11:00~24:00
Sundays & National Holidays: 11:00~19:00
Mondays: Off (except on National Holidays)

Cafe Scene

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Cafe Scene, an old favourite of mine since its foundation in 1989, is the type of Cafe difficult to classify.
The more pleasurable for it. Frankly speaking, I find myself in a dilemna as to what I should laud first:
-The music: great jazz allday long fromthe owner’s private CD collection. If you are a jazz fan, he will certainly come up with a favourite artist of yours.
The coffee: superb quality, each cup (all different, mainly Wedgwood), lovingly prepared in front of the customer if you sit at the counter.
-The coziness: an old wooden counter seating 9 guests on high wooden chairs and a table by the window, the perfect place for special compnany.
-The owner: Mr. Otsunori Uehara moved to Shizuoka City from his native Osaka in 1987 to open his Cafe the following year. A very mild man with the delightful renants of his birth place patois, he is always ready to engage in a pleasant discussion when not concocting one of his his great brews or absolutely extravagant breakfasts.
-The atmosphere: most customers are faithful patrons who help preserve an amosphere of calm excellence away from the bussling centre. Wood everywhere, bric a brac of all kinds (Mr. Uehara is a collector. Of what? I would be hard put to explain!). Looking around is a small adventure in itself.
-The food: you must try Cafe Scene breakfasts! I will not tell you more!
And keep an eye for the two daily cakes.

For the record:
Original coffees (3), Straight coffees (6: Brazil~Blue Mountain), Coffee a la carte (7)
Soft drinks (11), including a delicious 100% grapes juice
British tea
Ground coffee on sale, too
Breakfasts, especially popular and god value (350~700 yen, all inclusive)
Cinnamon Toast (vegetarians!) 600 yen

Cafe Scene
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oote Machi, 45, (near Miyuki Street-Hontori Street intersection)
Tel.: 054-2733200
Business hours: 07:00~20:00 (from 08:00 on Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays

Homepage (Japanese)