Channeling Italian style at Dah's Caffe on the Sennichimae Line

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Special To The Japan Times

Dah’s Caffe is marked by an architectural and engineering oddity: a giant circular air vent rising up from the Sennichimae Subway Line onto the street. On first glance its purpose, and ugliness, are obfuscated by a mosaic of amber tiles. The vent makes its presence felt in the cafe; one wall curves around it to accommodate the structure. But, happily the only aroma in the air at Dah’s is the pungent smell of coffee.

Dah’s is a specialty coffee shop and the interior is full of signs making that obvious: open sacks of beans, a roaster by the door and a high-end LaCimbali espresso maker behind the counter. This is a cafe where the emphasis is on coffee, although owner Yoshiki Kondoh does make room for tea and snacks. There’s not much in the way of seating, only a few stools facing the rounded wall of the vent. But as the decor, fare and ambience combine to give the cafe a not-unintended European flavor, you could take your coffee like the Italians do: standing up and in small cups.

I had a doppio (a double shot of espresso) and a slice of chiffon cake, accompanied by a few slices of mango. There’s a record player behind the counter; when I stepped inside, “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt was playing. Kondoh is friendly and knowledgeable about his coffee and its provenance, so if you’re looking for a foothold in this increasingly Byzantine world, Dah’s is a good place to start.

Noda 3-2-16, Fukushima-ku, Osaka; 06-6461-6466;; open 11:00 a.m.- 7:30 p.m., closed Wed. and Thurs.; nearest station JR Noda, Subway Tamagawa; English menu; Japanese spoken; smoking ok.

In line with the nationwide state of emergency declared on April 16, the government is strongly requesting that residents stay at home whenever possible and refrain from visiting bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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