|

Cafe de Rope Ginza: Classic ‘kissaten’ meals in an underground parking garage

by Robbie Swinnerton

Tokyo’s hippest new cafe is also one of its most obscure, even though it occupies some of the city’s swankiest real estate. Cafe de Rope Ginza lies in a corner of a converted parking garage three floors under the venerable Sony Building. And it’s attracting the cognoscenti in droves — likely because it’s an integral part of The Park-Ing Ginza, the latest retail space from musician/DJ/designer Hiroshi Fujiwara.

Like Fujiwara, the Cafe de Rope name has been around for decades, and here it has come up with a retro take on an old favorite: toast. Thick cuts of standard-issue white bread are topped with a pat of Hokkaido butter, in classic kissaten (traditional coffee shop) style, then gently browned and served in half a dozen different styles. There are savory standards, such as cheese toast — with or without curry — as well as unlikely combinations. Broccoli and shirasu (whitebait) anyone? Or black nori seaweed in a toasted sandwich?

As an all-day breakfast, you can order a soft-boiled egg with toast soldiers. And if you’re not keen on anko (red-bean jam), there’s a selection of more mainstream desserts as well.

The bottom line is, though, this is one of those “only in Tokyo” eating experiences.

Robbie Swinnerton blogs at www.tokyofoodfile.com.