Cafe Delights in Ojima
Published: March 30, 2022
Cafe M’s is a brand new cafe, tucked away on a quiet backstreet in Ojima, that’s so good it seems like a crime more people don’t know about it. On a recent afternoon, we dropped in for a chat with the youthful owner, the eponymous M.
Cafe M’s is located on a side street just off the famous Ojima shopping street known to local residents as Sunroad Nakanohashi. The cafe can’t be seen from the main street so keep your eyes peeled and turn right just before the fish shop. It’s on the ground floor of a brand new building.
Youthful owner Ms. Miura, seen here with one of her signature fruit tarts, has studied the centuries-old art of Japanese haute cuisine known as kaiseki ryori to the level of holding an instructor’s qualification. “I wanted to create a comfortable, relaxing space where people could enjoy some tasty food that would bring a smile to their faces,” she said.
Ms. Miura explained she usually makes two varieties of tart whose ingredients change with the seasons. Prices begin at 500 yen per piece. On the day we visited, this gorgeous banana espresso tart (eat-in 590 yen, take out 580 yen) and the strawberry tart (640 yen to eat in, 630 yen to take out) were available.
Whole tarts are available but need to be ordered a week in advance.
The cheesecake (380 yen) was both pleasantly moist and strongly flavoured. Very good indeed!
Cafe M’s lunch set is available all day. If you want the lunch set for breakfast at 10:00am you can! There’s a hearty slice of quiche, soup, salad, two vegetable dishes, and a drink, all for just 900 yen. The format is always the same but the ingredients change weekly. On the day we visited, the quiche was pumpkin, there was daikon radish and brown rice soup in a puree (surinagashi) style, while the two vegetable dishes were carrot rappe and couscous. The salad was flavoured with a dressing made with rice bran oil and white miso. Delicious.
Traditional Japanese cuisine such as kaiseki ryori is based on the concept of “five flavours, five colours” (gomi goshiki), which Ms. Miura has blended into a Japanese-European cafe-style menu. The dishes were uniformly excellent: aesthetically appealing, well-textured and elegantly flavoured.
For those with smaller appetites, there’s a lighter version available as a “morning” set available all day for 650 yen. The quiche is also available as an individual dish or to take out at 540 or 530 yen respectively.
The drink menu features coffee and tea, both hot or iced (Earl Grey), rooibos tea, hojicha tea latte, cafe au lait and orange, and apple juices. The iced coffee I drank was pleasantly full-bodied.
A new item on the menu for spring 2022 is this coffee jelly latte.
Ms. Miura sources the coffee beans from a local roaster, prepares her own coffee jelly, and mixes it with latte to create another winner.
As if Ms. Miura wasn’t busy enough, she also bakes her own cookies. Gift bag selections are available for 670 yen apiece.
While larger selections are available for 3,000 yen.
Cafe M’s is equipped with a projector that can project video onto the large white wall opposite the counter area. On the day we visited a soothing film of greenery and beaches heightened the comfortable atmosphere. The cafe can be rented in its entirety by groups over eight in number. Please ask Ms. Miura for more information.
Local residents sit reading at the counter and tables inside, while pets are very welcome at the outdoor seating area. Cafe M’s is so relaxing that we really didn’t want to leave! If you’re in the Ojima area, why not drop in for some wonderful fruit tarts, cake and really nice coffee, or even an all day lunch!
Edit by Stephen Spencer