Sunday, August 15, 2010

Comme Ca Cafe, Shinjuku

I find myself in the curious position, dear readers, of wanting to recommend a place that really irritated me even while I had a good time. Cafe Comme Ca has a LOT of things going against it, but the cakes are incredibly beautiful and taste pretty good too.
 
Strike 1 - it's a clothing-branded cafe. And it's on the 5th floor above one of their big retail stores (just across from Shinjuku's East exit, near Yodobashi Camera). We took the escalator up, which was sort of worthwhile because at the top we were confronted by some wacky Buddhist art. What does this have to do with cakes?
 
The retail areas of the building are very minimal - bare concrete, black walls - and it looks like the 'cafe' is a cynical attempt to make a buck off girls who are shopping. Or maybe not shopping enough, because the furnishings are very temporary-feeling - like sales were down, and they re-purposed a whole floor with folding tables and vinyl tablecloths topped with flowers to pretend they're elegant and also drive an alternate revenue stream.
 
Service is another downer - they have this big cooler full of amazing fruit-based cakes and tarts (and I don't say amazing lightly, as in "OMG that was sooooo aMAZing!!!") but they jump on you if you take a picture of them. And then glare at you throughout the rest of your time there.
 
Did I say 'amazing'? Seriously, look at this. It's just the one that I took a picture of first, and is far from the most beautiful. If Don Julio the bouncer hadn't jumped down my throat (you broke my heart, Fredo), I'd have some good shots for you. They had a special on mango, and the most incredible tart was the 'rose' where the whole top was, yes, roses, made out of arranged mango slices. Holy cow.
 
So order carefully. This fruit cider looked great on the menu, and tasted fine, but had 1/3 the fruit that was advertised.
 
And when I say 'order carefully' I mean "just get a bunch of tarts". They're all the same formula, fruit on some kind of cream base (custard, or ricotta, or otherwise). This is the berry chocolate version; it's a little on the 'simple and calculated to appeal to the girls' side, but putting a bunch of blackberries on there was a funny choice that made it better for me. Can't remember the last time I had blackberries.
 
If you're handy with the camera, you'll be able to surreptitiously take pictures of the waitress cutting your other cake...
 
Which is this mango extravaganza. As you noticed, the lighting isn't really set up for photography. On the other hand, we're going to restaurants to eat, aren't we?
 
There you go - you've seen the pictures, you've heard the grumbling, make up your own mind. 
 
03-5367-3113
 
 
 

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