One of the spots that my hubby really wanted to go while we were in Japan was this cafe called Reissue. It is located on a second floor of a concrete building on a narrow street. Even though it is very close to the center of Harajuku with crazy amount of people and store, it is a bit quieter here.
It is not easy to navigate Japanese streets if you are not familiar with the address format. Thankfully, they had a noticeable signs right at the door, so we found them without much problem. We went up the concrete stairs to the unknown…
Yes, the concrete stairs were kind of cold and boring, but at the top of the stairs changed all that. They had photos of their latte creations, which is what they are famous for, and the very reason for our visit. They were all so cute, we were getting excited!
And then there was this awesome space that opened up in front of my eyes! Contrasting to the cold, concrete staircase, it was warm and inviting. The cafe looked and felt like a large living room with sofas and soft lights. They had wooden floor and walls, and big windows leading out to their balcony, bringing in lots of natural lights.
The back wall had a nice record collection, with modern and old-fashion furniture and decoration. We got there before it got busy, so the staffs took us to a nice sofa seat at the corner. More than enough space for the two of us, so we got to spread out and relax!
Since it was on the second floor, they had a view from the cafe. Well, a view of apartments across the street…but, still fun to be able to see the street down below. They had all the utensils and condiments on the table, and from the look of it, this place is NOT no-smoking… Sad, but there are still smoker-friendly places. I really don’t like to smell the cigarette smoke while I am eating (actually, I don’t like to smell it anywhere). Luckily, we didn’t see any smoker in this place until when we were getting ready to leave.
The great thing about this cafe is that they have REAL food offerings! Not just some muffins and doughnuts, but real, solid, savory food that can actually fill you up. We did our research beforehand, so we came here for lunch and the latte. We ordered Handmade Hamburg Steak (950 yen) and Pork Ginger Dry Curry (950 yen).
The lunch menu comes with a side salad, rice and a cup of soup. On this day, the soup was consommé veggie soup. This little cup was simple yet comforting. It had small bits of veggies such as carrots and onions, light but deep, warm flavor.
The homemade hamburg steak had marmalade sauce, sautéed onions and fresh parsley. It came with a good amount of rice, and very fresh salad. The sesame dressing on the salad was really tasty. It also had some onion crunch (?) on it, which was really nice.
Hamburg steak was fluffy and juicy, and had nice sweetness to it from the sauce. It had a dab of real, whole-grain mustard on the side, which gave a good kick to the steak. Nice combination of sweet and spicy.
Pork Ginger Dry Curry had rice underneath the curry, with the same, very fresh and crispy side salad with sesame dressing. It was a pretty good portion, satisfying and quite filling. It had fresh chives on top which added extra refreshing flavor and crunchy texture.
It had runny egg on the curry, giving nice egg porn. The curry had a nice ginger flavor, with chunks of ginger which was awesome. The pork was super flavorful, juicy and delicious. My taste buds were having a party in my mouth.
After the delicious meal, it was time for our special lattes. We wanted the latte with our faces on it, so the staff took our photos on their phone and brought it to the latte artist of the day.
They had a pretty and simple explanation of “How To Latte-Art” on their menu. You pick which latte you want, get the image you want on the latte, show it to staff, wait…and voilà!!!
The latte artist makes the latte art one at a time, so we were told at the beginning that the lattes will be brought to us one at a time. I got to see him work on our faces with a chocolate drizzle, really cool!
And yes, voilà! Here is my latte with my face on it! Kind of funny… I never had a food or drink with my face on it… Oh wait, I did have a birthday cake with my face on it once. It was strange eating my face, and seeing others eating my face… Anyways, it was really fun to get my own, one of a kind special latte!
They had six kinds of lattes that we can add latte art on it. We both chose Vanilla Latte (650 yen). The cost to add latte art is additional 400 yen. This makes the latte to be around $10 each, which is a pretty darn expensive cup of latte, but it was once in a lifetime order (maybe), so we were going to splurge on this latte. The faces were drawn on the foam with chocolate, making the sweet latte to be extra sweet. Tasty, but much sweeter than expected.
They have one gender neutral bathroom by the kitchen. It is not too big or small, clean and functional. When there are many female customers (as this cafe gets mostly female customers), the line for the bathroom could start quickly.
The staffs were all really nice, polite and friendly. It was a very relaxing atmosphere, we had a good lunch here. We even saw some teenage girls in school uniforms coming here for the expensive lattes… More reasons to push for NO-smoking environment. Hopefully they will change the smoking policy in the future. Another thing to note, they are CASH ONLY, so make sure to bring some cash. All in all, it was a lovely lunch, we enjoyed the food and latte. The food was so much better than I thought it would be, high quality and delicious. Latte was mainly for the “show” but a fun experience. If you want a one of a kind latte art of your own, you know where to go!
Reissue – 3 Chome-25-7 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo Japan