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.