Wednesday, September 19, 2007

63. Cafe/Bar Review: Sorga

Sorga is a really lovely Asian cafe that just opened in July. Run by a young couple, the atmosphere is pure Southeast Asian. The interior is white with dark chocolate brown wood and deep green plants. Everything fits with the theme, ash trays, light fictures, even the air conditioner is hidden by a wooden screen. The music varies, from Bosa Nova to R&B to International instrumental.
There is a long booth on a side wall, with four tables for four and three tables for two. There are two more tables for four against the other wall, and there are four bar stools near the kitchen. In the front of the cafe is a small shop selling Asian pottery and goods. Once inside, I really felt I had been carried far away from the busy, noisy street just out front.
There are three lunch specials each day; a 'curry', a 'plate', or a 'bowl'. They come with soup or salad and a drink for 880 yen. The day I was there the curry was chicken and cheese in a tomato base. The plate was marinated pork with rice, and the bowl dish was something with salmon and avacado.
I chose the pork with rice. It was delicious. They only thing I wish had been different was the side it came with. I would have prefered a vegetable to the tuna salad that was presented. I chose a salad and an ice coffee to go with my meal. All in all, well worth 880 yen.
Sorga has a much more extensive menu in the evening, including a full bar. My husband and I did stop in again for drinks and some snacks, we ended up having dinner as well. Everything was tasty and very reasonable.

Phone: 03-3419-3619
Address: Daizawa 3-1-15. Sorga is about 15 minutes walk from Shimokitazawa Station, on the main street that heads to Shibuya, just beside the Setagaya walking trail, and across from Gyu-kaku.

Hours of Operation: 11:30 am - 2:00 am, closed on Mondays.

All Japanese, but with photos:
The menu is also only in Japanese, but with lots of katakana.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

62. Chain Restaurant Review: Cocoro

Cocoro, which means 'spirit / heart / mind', is a soup curry chain restaurant from Sapporo. The interior is more upscale than most curry places, the Shimokita branch has white brick and dark wood walls, with matching tables decorated with cute, miniature plants. When I was there, mellow English R&B was playing in the background.Along one wall is a long booth chair for four tables for 4. There are four tables for 2, two of them overlook the front window, and one regular table for 4. There is also a bar counter, which overlooks the kitchen, with about five seats. The main downside to Cocoro is that there isn't a non-smoking section.

The menu is all in English, but there are some pictures and most descriptions are in katakana. Ordering is a little complicated, though. Choose a curry, then the spice level, rice size - sm, med, lg, or extra large (extra large is 150 yen extra), and rice type (regular or genmai).

There are about 15 different varieties to choose from, all of which are full of vegetables, and which cost 800 to 1000 yen. Examples include: Pork & Spinach, Cabbage & Bacon, Ravioli,... I choose a curry that boasted 14 different vegetables. It was lunchtime so I also ordered the lunch set, which includes a lassi drink and choice of salad or dessert, for an extra 150 yen.

I was very impressed with the curry. The flavor was wonderful and the vegetables were cooked just right. Incredibly healthy and delicious at the same time!

In addition to the curry, there are a few side items available: cold tomato slices (280 yen), Caesar salad (280 yen), and a spicy chicken wing (320). Drinks include coffee, tea, chai, draft beer, and lassi - plain or flavored (mango, lychee, tropical fruit), and are between 180 and 380 yen.

Hours of Operation: 11:00 - 22:00

Phone: 03-5424-3561
Address: Kitazawa 2-34-8, KM Bld. 1Fl. 4 minute walk from the north exit of Shimokita Station. Check this website for a map.