One of my favourite discoveries in Tokyo wasn’t a restaurant at all, but a coffee kiosk the size of a box room hidden in the maze of residential streets between Omotesando and Gaienmae. Sitting on the ground floor of a tiny 60 year-old abode (a rare book museum occupies the space upstairs), Omotesando Koffee was initially intended as a temporary set-up but its popularity has led to it becoming a more permanent fixture.
Owner and barista Eiichi Kunitomo originally hails from Osaka and honed his craft in Naples before returning to bring espresso back to his native Japan. He is quite a character and clearly enjoys the interaction with customers in the intimate space. Upon learning I was from London, Kunitomo spoke wistfully about his visit there and the coffees he enjoyed at Flat White and Milk Bar. According to him, despite espresso culture slowly taking off in Tokyo, filter coffee still rules the roost there.
A selection of coffees, hot and cold are available, with a couple of chocolate and booze (Baileys) enhanced numbers for the non-purists.
Design-wise everything from the logo to the kiosk itself takes its shape from a cube, and even the koffee kashi he bakes daily take that form (more about those sweets later).
My cappuccino doppio was a fine specimen indeed with a lovely aroma, slight bitter edge and light frothy head of steamed milk.
The accompanying golden cubes (deceptively named “Baked Custard”) were in actuality canelés, with a gorgeous caramelised crust and moist custardy innards. A touch sweet on its own, but perfect washed down with Kunitomo’s brew. I bit into mine and immediately ordered another.
Aside from coffee and baked custard there are bags of coffee beans available for purchase, as well as a quirky “cup of coffee” made from coffee grounds to take home and display on the mantelpiece.
We savoured our coffees in the pretty courtyard – a tranquil haven for locals or savvy tourists wishing to rest their feet after hitting the nearby Omotesando shops. If you’re planning a trip to Maisen (and why wouldn’t you be) just around the corner, definitely make a detour here for a post Tonkatsu pick-me up. Go soon too, as the owner of the house has plans to demolish the building and Kunitomo will then bring his concept on the road – his dream locations can be found whimsically listed on the opening page of his website (London, sadly does not feature).
t. (+85 0)3 5413 9422