vade mecvm

Vade Mecvm doesn’t carry the same reputation as Japanese coffee powerhouse Streamers does. Now too in Osaka, Streamers can consider itself up against tough opposition in Vade Mecvm. I’m throwing my support behind Vade Mecvm as offering the best coffee in Japan.

Owned by Sim and partner Chika it’s plain to see that Sim’s time living in London has given him a astute understanding of coffee and cafe culture. This understanding has extended in his choice of location at Utsubo park in Osakas trendy Nishi-ward. It’s hidden by its back facing entrance just enough by flowers and trees but not so much that you can’t see it from a casual walk by.

vade mecvm

Aside from a coffee experience straight from Melbourne, Vade Mecvm also has British tea and cakes in a casual take on High Tea. The space also doubles as Sims gallery for his art work and holds gallery events, lessons, as well as selling some boutique homeware. His current work involves writing every word in the English dictionary on the walls. He’s only up to B and I think he may have given up.

Closed on Mondays but a beautiful place to bring your laptop, order coffee and a cake and complete some online errands.

Vade Mecvm is located at:
1F Takagi Bldg.
1-13-21 Kyomachibori, Nishi-ku (map)
Osaka, Japan
+81 6 6447-1335

01/20/2013 Food

HaHaHa Cafe

Pretty sure that anyone reading this blog might start thinking I rate Osaka higher than any other place I’ve been. You’d be right, but only partly. ハaハaハa (HaHaHa) cafe in Minato-ku, Osaka is another one of those cute, clean and charming joints that added to my positive experience there. Thrown up as a tip from some newly made friends in Osaka it turned out to be a surprising venture in the quiet harbor suburb.

With nothing else of substance on the small island that is home to Osaka Aquarium I’m floored that HaHaHa is empty in the tourist driven area. The 1960’s building has been home of the cafe for 10 years and shows every minute of life that the family who runs the cafe has experienced. The space is more about the community than it is the business and a number of mothers with their kids dropped in to say hello to the owner while I sat and enjoyed my meal speaks of that.

Art, Cooking and even Yoga classes are run at various times in the building and there’s a beautiful crafts section in the cafe that displays hand made crafts from local artists.

The precise care taken in even the smallest tasks behind the cafe is bewitching. How can you not sit back and smile at a wash cloth folded and presented on a bit of raw timber? Oh god, it makes my heart beat faster just seeing it again. Marry me HaHaHa cafe.

Lunch sets start at  ¥1000, include a sandwich, tea or coffee and a small soup. Meals are small, again, but the delicate nature of home made cuisine makes up for it.

It’s within walking distance from Osaka Aquarium so there’s no reason to ignore HaHaHa if you’ve ventured there for the day. It’s a pain to me that cafes such as HaHaHa exist because while their beauty is partly in their invisibility, they deserve more. Please check it out if you visit Osaka Aquarium and tell me what you think.

ハaハaハa is located at:

2F-1-5-28 Kaigan, Minato-Ku
Osaka, Japan.
+81 6 6576-0880

12/23/2012 Food

If a bakery needs a security guard out the front you know they’ve been doing something right.

Started 11 years ago by chef Hisanori Takeuchi, Boulangerie Takeuchi is a distinct patisserie in the sea that is Japanese bakeries. Such is a testament that there is a never ending line from 8am to sell out of customers who are desperate to try their favorite again or experiment with the over 200 different varieties of bread.

With all that it would make sense if a Oceans Eleven style robbery was planned and that’s why a security guard was employed.

Oh right, photos are not allowed inside to further add to my robbery conspiracy.

In conflict with its reputation and the nature of Japanese businesses it surprised me how small it was. From what I know, Takeuchi has turned down numerous attempts to expand with more stores in Kansai but when you find out that most of the bakers inside are unpaid interns desperate for experience and with high aspirations you realise the reputation that Boulangerie Takeuchi as the best bakery in Osaka, and probably Japan, is well deserved. The joint is the pinnacle of Japanese bakeries and the owner wants to be known for that.

I couldn’t make sense of the baking schedule, which offers 3 different ranges throughout the day, so I just picked whatever looked good. By sheer luck I found out that I did pick up the star attraction of Boulangerie Takeuchi, the custard buns. Takeuchi spent AUD$115,000 on unique molds for them and has created over 10 different varieties  none of which he wants to remove because each have their unique fans who come specially for it.

Across from Boulangerie Takeuchi is Utsubo Park so if you’re looking for a perfect morning in Osaka, drop in, grab a couple of custard buns and sit in Osaka’s perfect escape from the city. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my mornings in Osaka.

Boulangerie Takeuchi is located at:

1-16-14 Utsubohonmachi, Chou-ku
Osaka, Japan.
+81 6 6444-2118

12/11/2012 Food

Issue zero of SRC783, a new collaborative magazine by fashion editor Christina Dietze and artist Nick Thomm is an inspired project. That’s all I really need to say about this 160 page book publishing some absurd artistic and alternative editorial photography and design.

Jacob Sadrak, Emma Mulholland, Chet Faker and Mike Perry are just some of the artists who lend their input in the inaugural edition. It will run quarterly and the editors state that it isn’t focused on seasonal trends but instead the art, style and personalities of the subjects.

Personally I find this book just at the right moment when I’m struggling with my creative craft. The urgency of my zeal is becoming apparent and surrounding myself with creative and inspirational material such as what’s offered in this book is what I need to be doing. For anyone with a love of editorial photography I highly recommend picking it up.

SRC783 is avaliable from Mag Nation in Melbourne, CBD or from their website for $15 plus $9.95 postage.

11/22/2012 Merchandise






11/20/2012 Photography