Saturday, January 27, 2007

2. Cafe Review: Deli & Baking Co.

Deli & Baking Co. 1F, 2-29-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 03-5453-1313

A five minute walk from the North Exit of Shimokitazawa Station.

Soothing jazz and Christmas tunes (it was December) were playing in the background. Walls are smooth gray concrete, with large picture windows overlooking the street. Nostalgic advertising posters (in English), decorate those walls. There are white counter tables and stools (about 30) and silver circular tables for 2 (about 12). The atmosphere is clean, airy, and not at all Japanese.

As you enter, incredible desserts are displayed in and on the deli counter - huge, amazing popovers, french toast, muffins, and scones. There is also a selection of regular cakes and pies. Everything is baked fresh each morning, on site. All desserts are available for 'take-out'.

There is also a stylish "Beer Bar" in one corner, but it was not open - possibly just a decoration.

For lunch, I had the "Deli Plate Set". Customers choose 1 of each from A (a vegetable), B (a meat or fish dish), C (a hot item) + rice or bread + drink 980 yen.

I chose: A (tomato and mozzarella cheese), B (lasagna), C (Oriental chicken). A strange combination, I know, but I couldn't read what type of chicken it was, it just looked delicious.

Everything was delicious and the portion size was just perfect for an average female (but not enough for most men, or anyone used to American sized portions). If you still have room in your stomach, I would strongly recommend having dessert, they are definitely 'American-sized'!

They also have a 'Soup Set': Choice of soup + choice of salad + rice or bread + drink (800 yen). And a 'Sweets Set': Choice of dessert inside the deli counter (regular cakes and pie slices, not the popovers, french toast, muffins, or scones) and drink for 700 yen.
Customers can also order a la carte.
Other menu items include:
*Sandwiches: BLT & Egg, Caribbean Chicken, Avocado/Bacon/Cheese,... (all around 700 yen)*Rice Bowl Dishes: Spicy Chicken Curry, Taco Rice, and 2 types of Loco Moco (all 800 yen)*Soup: Tomato Clam Chowder, Corn Cream Soup, + 2 soups of the day (all around 400 yen)

Lots of drinks to choose from, including draft beer and a variety of coffees/teas.

I choose a stool at a counter at the window, facing outside. Just in front is a lovely flower shop/clothing store (same owner as the deli) and a narrow, pedestrian only street. The spot is perfect for watching the parade of 'Shimokitazawa fashion' walking by.

The deli has been open for over 15 years. It is owned by a lovely lady named Etsuko Ueda, who owns a number of other cafes in Shimokitazawa and around Tokyo. Ms. Ueda speaks great English. If she is around, she can answer any questions that you might have. The staff, while not fluent, also did their best to help explain the set system and choices. Labels for the choices of the lunch set are only in Japanese, but most are easily identifiable just by looking.

I do not know if the sets are available in the evening, this was the one question that I forgot to ask.I would strongly recommend visiting the Deli & Baking Co. It is best for ladies having lunch, or for anyone who wants an incredible dessert!