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By Twotone: Snap-friendly cafe offers wholesome lunch sets

by J.J. O'Donoghue

Contributing Writer

By Twotone leaves no doubt as to its purpose: on the front of this former university dormitory is a short story that reads “Eat Lives Hotel Cafe Coffee Icecream Deli&Bake By TwoTone.” It must be fun answering the phone.

If that explanation is too lengthy, then let me clear things up. At its core, By Twotone is a bakery and cafe slotted into a narrow space that has the deliberate emptiness of a gallery. There are Instagram-design touches here and there, such as the neon-lit sign on one wall that declares “Eat Lives Positive.” Clearly the establishment has a thing for certain words.

Aside from the forced quirkiness, the menu is wholesome, much of it drawn from Rocca & Friends, a sister cafe in Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture.

For lunch there’s a choice of three sets: curry, pasta and rice. Each is priced between ¥1,280 and ¥1,580. It’s a steep price for a lunch set at a cafe on the doorstep of a university, but each is filling and tasty, especially with the addition of the hummus soup and pickles.

The selection in the bakery is limited, but there’s room for staples such as scones, carrot cake, muffins and brownies. At ¥440, the petite slice of carrot cake lacked bang for its buck and was disappointing for its lack of carrot. Looking a few weeks down the line, By Twotone is rolling out an ice cream menu that includes parfaits and jelly, perfect for the rolling waves of heat in the summer months.

Lunch from ¥1,280; English menu; some English spoken