Tuesday, August 14, 2007

61. Cafe Review: Wa Cha Cha

Wa Cha Cha is a cute little cafe that specializes in traditional Japanese sweets.

The interior is white and lime green, with light beige tables and chairs. Located on the 2nd floor, a large window looks out over the quiet alley below. A long white bench seat sits below the windows, in line with 5 tables for two. There are only two other tables for two in the cafe. A magazine rack is up against the back wall, and light Japanese pop plays in the background. The atmosphere is light and airy, with tiny cactus in the windows. If they cleared up the clutter near the kitchen window, it would be just right.
In addition to regular coffee and tea, there are lots of drinks based on green tea and/or sweet azuki beans, all from 450 to 600 yen.
If you like traditional Japanese sweets, this is the place for you! Desserts run from 650 to 800, and they are pretty fancy. They even offer some cool 'combination' plates if you care to sample a variety of traditional sweets at one time. A great choice for visiting foreigners who have never tried them before. I recommend sharing a plate.
In the summer then have flavored shaved ice (strawberry, mizure, yuzu,...) for 550 to 600 yen. Add milk for 50 yen, azuki beans or soft serve ice cream for 100 yen. I had yuzu shaved ice. The portion was large and very refreshing. Yuzu jam is used as flavoring.
There are also some Japanese lunch specials to choose from, all are 'donburi' (over rice in a bowl). Mentaiko (fish egg) and avocado; mixed vegetable and egg; kinoko mushroom and chicken; cabbage and a type of fish with mayonnaise; and chicken, onion, and egg. There is also a tofu hamburger plate. All lunches are 850 yen. A drink can be added for 150 - 300 yen, depending on your choice. A mini dessert set is an extra 300 yen (soft serve ice cream or 'anmitsu').

The menu is totally in Japanese, but there are pictures of the fancy desserts, and most drinks are in katakana. Two nice, but shy young ladies were running the place. I am happy to note they filled my water glass about 4 times without me having to ever ask.

Location: South side of Shimokitazawa Station. Across from Kitchen Ripple, down the small alley in front of Robber Gabriela and the burger joint. Stores called 'Torse' and 'Glimmer' are on the corner.

Hours of Operation: 12:00 to 20:00.