There was a bunch of places I wanted to visit on my first trip to Japan but there were only a couple that were 100% locked in. Ace, a little kissaten near Kanda station in Tokyo was one of them.
Ace is run by two brothers and the prices and decor have barely changed since their father opened the doors in 1971, the joint is old school and just cool as shit. The red vinyl chairs and hand painted signs make me wish I was a retired Japanese salaryman so I could chill out there all day smoking lucky strikes and shooting the breeze.
The morning we visited was pouring with rain and we stumbled across it after a brief walk from the train station. Inside were a couple of regulars including a Japanese Humphrey Bogart looking cat smoking a dart, one of the owners and his daughter and granddaughter.
There is no English menu but there are pictures of various types of coffee they serve named after different countries. They include a bunch of unusual combinations like the Mexican that comes with a dollop of butter floating in the cup.
Not knowing anything about coffee and not speaking any Japanese I pointed to the Italian which to my disappointment was just plain old coffee…
I didn’t come for the coffee though I came for the nori toast.
Their famous toast consists of white bread with the crusts removed, sliced in half, buttered and with a sheet of yaki-nori in the middle, that little number will set you back all of ¥140 which is about $1.40.
Make no mistake though, as simple as it was it was one of the best things I ate in Japan.
Along with the nori toast they have a couple of sweet items on the menu, the thick white toast with whipped cream and chocolate sauce hit the spot big time.
And for two bucks you can get a couple of homemade donuts with sugar and butter, and you better believe I ate them with a fork, I’m not a savage.
The thing I love about Japan is that it’s so technologically advanced you need an engineering degree to flush the toilet (seriously I had to google the model of a public toilet I was in so I could work out how to flush it) and they have a little section of the bathroom mirror that’s heated so it doesn’t fog up when you take a shower. Then it also has places like Ace that just keep on doing their thing and don’t give a fuck about what’s been happening outside their doors for the last 30 years.
Stay tuned for a few more Japan related posts.