A cute Italian/French Cafe restaurant right off the train station, more of a neighborhood gem. When you say “French” restaurant, especially in Japan, it is usually very upscale, very formal place. But here, it is more casual, still have that elegance but you can go in without feeling uptight. They provide the cuisine in that relaxing atmosphere with ease.
The inside is really bright with tall ceilings, and gives that warm, cozy feeling with adorable decorations. As soon as you walk in, there are windows showcasing their yummy desserts, and few other items (not food items) right by the register.
The way they sell these items are so cute, it almost makes to want to buy them, even if you don’t need them at all… They also pay attention to the wash room, they make sure to decorate it super cute!
So, lets move on to the main topic…FOOD! They have lunch special that comes with soup, salad, and a drink of choice (coffee, tea, woolong tea, orange juice, or grapefruits juice). The lunch special has variety of menu, and goes from 1,080 yen (around $10) to 3,200 yen (around $30). First, for drinks,we got hot tea, woolong tea, and grapefruits juice. The iced drinks comes with heart-shaped ice cubes (consistent with their name – super cute!).
Salad and soup was whatever they make for the day. The salad was very fresh, minimal dressing which is what I like. The soup was chilled green peas and potato potage (thick) soup. It was soooooo delicious! It was one of the best chilled soup I have ever tasted…! It was creamy, had sweetness to it, really smooth! Every sip was a total delight…
For the main dish, we ordered Japanese spaghetti (1,080 yen) and hamburg steak with rice or bread (1,500 yen). The Japanese spaghetti with tuna, Japanese mushroom, and spinach was tasty and creamy. The pasta was cooked right, no complaints. It was not too special, but it did disappear quickly. Hamburg steak is one of typical lunch/dinner item, and they have several different kind. This one came with egg on top, and house-made curry sauce. We chose rice instead of bread, it provides perfect companion to the hamburg steak. The hamburg steak was ok, nothing really special I felt 1,500 yen was a bit expensive for this dish, of this portion. Both items were kind of small size, it was good for female, but not enough for men.
Another item we ordered was Omu-rice (1,080 yen). It is omelette with ketchup flavored fried rice. This place put the omelette on top of the rice, and had demi-glace sauce. There are several different way to prepare this dish, people are coming up with more and more creative ways and re-inventing this dish every day. The “proper” way to eat this version, is to open up the fluffy egg, let it all drizzle over the rice, then you can mix them all together lightly, and then off it goes into your mouth. It was tasty and fluffy, the demi-glace sauce added extra flavor. Watching the egg melt over the rice was like food porn…
They also have special monthly lunch special. This month was open sandwich, salad, arrabiata, and dessert (1,650 yen). The open sandwich came with sliced tomato, prosciutto, onion, and mayo on toasted croissant. It was refreshing and tasty, good appetizer. Arrabiata came with a huge red shrimp and vegetables. It was nice, had a little kick to it. It was ok, not super delicious, but tasty enough. Since this one comes with salad, appetizer, pasta and dessert, I think the price was not so bad.
Let’s move on to what they do best. Desserts. They brought out all the desserts that they have on that day, and you get to choose which one you want. This was a really difficult choice since they all looked soooooo good!
We chose Earl Grey cake, Yuzu Mont Blanc cake, Mango Moose cake, and Caramel Mocha Roll cake. They are famous for decorating the dessert plates with colorful chocolate pens, and they change out the design based on season, occasion, or special request. Since this was during rainy season in Japan, they had rain-themed design, and it was all so cute!!!! The desserts were excellent also, it was all smooth, creamy, flavorful, and the use of the fruits were really great also. Earl grey had good tea flavor, and the flavors of yuzu and mango was very much alive as well. Yes they are small, but super delicious!
We were actually there for a special celebration, we were there to celebrate a happy marriage of a beautiful couple after their wedding. They decorated the plate especially for that occasion, and lit a candle on it. It was so pretty! In Japan, they seem to use the phrase “Happy Wedding” (kind of like Happy Birthday) to celebrate a wedding. The roll cake was really tasty as well, I wish if all the desserts were much, much bigger, because they were all so good!
They do not have good reputation when it comes to service, which is a shame, but this is Japan, bad service still is not so bad compared to some places in NYC… (LOL). But, in our case, they were polite and nice, they even took a very nice photo of us when we asked, we didn’t think their mannerism was terrible or cold. Different people have good and bad experience from same restaurants, I think we got lucky, or they are actually working on improving their service skills.
Overall, we enjoyed our time at Four Hears, and were all happy. It is a nice place for lunch, especially with your girlfriends or sisters, daughter, niece, etc. Lovely place to have lunch with the loved ones, and always exciting and fun to see what kind of decoration you will find on your dessert plate!
Restaurant & Cafe Four Hearts – 617-12 Koya, Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture 270-0017, Japan