I hope you don’t mind cats. This cafe’s got one. She’s the star, or maybe the mascot of RRRoom cafe. Her name is Mu and she’s even got her own picture book that ornaments the shelf beside the table. But I promise you, she’s not the reason I visit the RRRoom. In fact she could be the reason, if there ever was one that I don’t visit again.
Lost in the back seat of a friends ride, after a missed turn on the winding roads of Japan’s hills and mountains, I noticed the quaint cafe, attracted to the fact that it bore a name I’d never heard. I like the cozy cafes with less than predictable menus, with the groovy tickle in your ears of funky music- some familiar and some unheard of. A place to chill and unwind with a book to read or a book to write- or sometimes to just stare into the difference. As we drove past it, something told me that Cafe RRRoom just might have all this working for it.
An a cool, breezy, nonetheless sun-smooched day- its slobber dripping down my back, I took the opportunity to wander back to the cafe. I was greeted by its psychedelic facade and a sign that said (like many in Japan) “No Cafe, No Life”. I entered, met by the bar tucked away to the left, concealing the cookery that would happen on the other side and my host couple. I continued to the right, entering into more of- dinette, I guess. I sat down to a little table in the corner, just out of the sun’s reach. Panning the room I noticed that, further, there was what looked a little more like a living room, with a cushioned bench, with its accompanying table, sharing a home with some percussion and strings.
From where I sat though, looking up time and again from the menu, I was reminded of my Pre-K classroom, if not the ones from the movies and children books: the brown, wooden framed chalkboard, tagged in all sorts of colors; the vibrant, red double- doors of the fridge with its plastic, neon colored letters, held on by magnets. But unusual to any classroom I’ve ever been in, except maybe at the CIA, was the spirits on display or the hanging pots and pans and copper shaded lamps. I love that the decor- the books, the toys, and everything else here- isn’t merely decoration but guests are welcomed to enjoy their cafe treats along with the fun of origami booklets and the like.
But enough already! Hopefully you’re sitting at the same table as me by now. I threw up my finger, “Sumimasen!” With little time to stay, I ordered an iced coffee and and their chocolate cake/souffle. The coffee was pleasantly bold and came with friends: gum syrup and cream in the most charming little cups. Beside them arrived two little cookies that Mom would call tea crisp, buttery and sweet, perhaps with a little bit of milk in the mix. Cafe RRRoom brings a bit of life and inspiration to my duties as cup-bearer!
The chocolate dessert wasn’t a culinary masterpiece but I don’t yet know that I could do much better. It was tasty, moist, and spongy. I am convinced it was made with cream cheese! And the personal touch of the word RRRooM stenciled in cocoa and confectioner’s sugar.
I have since been back to try their hot coffee and some of entrees (salad, pasta, sandwiches…). On certain nights, their are musical performances- or jam sessions. I haven’t yet caught one. But something tells me I’ll be back. They’ve definitely got something going for them- even if they do have a cat!
More pictures will be found on Facebook @ChefTasteBud
Open 12pm to 10pm