This month’s Spotlight is on Kanade Shokudo (かなで食堂）, a prim little cafe located at the head of Chuo ward’s Ninjo Yokocho market street (人情横丁, see map below).
Ninjo Yokocho is a short market-street (商店街 shotengai) split down the middle by an island of little, haphazardly cobbled together shops. The street still features much of what could be termed “classical” Shotengai fare: a produce shop (八百屋 Yaoya) with baskets of fruit and vegetables hidden under a long, low-laying canvas awning; a shack selling grilled fish, put out on skewers jutting vertically from a barrel of ashy sand; a brightly-colored shop selling cheap toys and candies; dimly lit ramen and curry eateries promising food “just like mother made it.” But if vestiges of the original street still remain, Kanade Shokudo is part of the new wave of stylish (or else eclectic) shops and cafes that have been slowly sneaking into the street in recent years.
Whatever the change in style, however, the newer shops have moved in precisely because they prize the homey micro-scale that the Ninjo Yokocho properties offer. Kanade Shokudo, too, is a one-woman-show with only 9 seats: 4 at the counter, 4 at a table, and one lone seat by the window.
As a result the cafe fills up fast, and sometimes there can be a little bit of a wait for food. One year after opening, the cafe continues to draw new customers who quickly become repeaters—-this writer included. The menu changes frequently according to the owner’s mood (content changes, prices don’t). She puts a special emphasis on healthy ingredients, and everything from the pickles to the ice cream is made in house from scratch.
[Menu: Daily Kanade Rice Set – 750JPY (daily special, rice, soup, salad, side dish); Daily Curry Plate – 750JPY; Brown Rice & Vegetable Set – 750; +100JPY gets you a drink or desert. Water and tea are provided free]
The daily special when we stopped in was a spring roll plate. We also indulged in the original deserts: pound cake flavored with sake lees (酒粕 sake kasu) and a kinako (sweet roasted soy bean flour) chiffon cake.
All in all, if you have a little time for lunch, Kanade Shokudo is a great and affordable option in the Furumachi area.
MTWFS 11:30 – 4:00
Thursday 11:30 – 2:00
Closed on Sundays, National holidays, and otherwise as necessary.
Location: Ninjo Yokocho, near Honcho-dori and the Itoyokado super market. (Zoom out for English)