Friday, March 20, 2009

Hap, Kagurazaka

After being a bit disappointed with the Artist Cafe, I wanted to redeem the evening by walking around somewhere nice - and thought that Kagurazaka was close. Y'know, it's hard to find stuff there when walking around at random.

Hap, I think I had seen before on a random expedition. It's kinda neat and modern-looking from the outside (concrete and glass, those arbiters of Japanese modernity), and inside has a counter and two (very) small tables. The counter was full, they said (reservations for 10 PM! City life! So Italian!), but the tables were OK.

Illy coffee has a big place in my heart. In Australia, lengthy testing convinced me that it was the best brand, and nothing has ever disabused me of that notion (just like I think the style of coffee that I love in Australia is the best; I don't know if it's 'real Italian', but the preparation and proportion are far superior to your Staba/Tulleez etc.). So seeing Hap serving coffee from a big tin of Illy beans, freshly ground and packed laboriously into a gleaming Italian single-shot machine...well, it had to be good.

Good coffee, good cake, a scoop of ice cream from the kitchen (maybe for the table charge? Strawberry with some crunchy toffee bits on top - they put in a touch of effort.). The rest of the food looked OK too; everyone was particularly impressed by the scallops, which were from Hokkaido (like one of the chefs) and were residing peacefully in a bucket of water under the counter - demonstrably alive and squelching until called to...errr, duty. I'd go back here for a casual night to see what they could do with the other food. Empty cases of Sassicaia made things look appropriately serious on the wine front as well. Terry has been when these guys were running a different shop elsewhere before buying this one a year ago, and he liked it - what else do you need to know?!

Not exactly like the coffee machine in your office.

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