A relaxed and warm atmosphere is waiting for you here at Chillin’ Mama. Meet the owner/chef/waitress and you will understand where the name Chillin’ Mama comes from. She is a bright, lovely woman who you simply have to meet. This Tokyo-native started the cafe about 3 years ago after moving to Niigata when her mother-in-law fell ill. She knew no one here but remembered growing up in her mother’s kimono shop and the community and creativity that came with it… so she decided to create a space for community here.
Not only does this place function as a cafe but also as an studio, a workshop and a community center. She lends out the space to groups who craft so they have a place to meet but she also lends her walls and shelves to people (like students) who want to get their art seen.
The aura of this woman… your day brightens just being around her. One of the things I love about her is her openness and her passion for community. She likes interacting with people from all different walks of life and takes inspiration from different places all over the world.
For example, she fell in love with pecan pie while she was in the States and she learned while she was there so she could make the real thing here! (The day we went, she had cheesecake instead but… she says it’s the default pie choice! Yes, there is always a dessert!)
She also learned how to make her curries from a friend who has gone to India to learn first hand how to make curry and owns an Indian restaurant in Tokyo.
Also, her food is on the healthier side. She tries to make sure there is a balance in her food and uses spices and ingredients that have health benefits (like the rice- it isn’t plain white rice).
She also learned how to make the Confit from her daughter who is a professional chef!
As she is part Okinawan and loves America she included taco rice. (That said, remember, her menu changes daily!)
Here’s that dessert I was talking about earlier! You can get it on it’s own or as a set with a drink.
At a glance
Food: 8/10 Well rounded flavors. Everything was cooked well too.
Atmosphere: 8/10 Friendly, warm, open
English Friendliness: 2/10 menu is entirely in Japanese, with no pictures. She might be able to help you in English though it seems
Price Range: Lunch ￥700~
Location: (Zoom out for English)
〒951-8067 Niigata-ken, Niigata-shi, Chūō-ku, Honchōdōri 5 Banchō, 262