In Japan, there’s a concept, ‘Wabi Sabi’ which is a world view or aesthetic centred around the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It’s the appreciation of a hand made object, that’s a little bit off from being perfectly round and from what I’ve seen and understand, seems to have that rather organic and soothing appeal to it.
Sure I could be wrong, but I feel like Tana Cafe embodies a lot of this. The little Japanese cafe sits unassumingly on Church Street in Richmond and with it’s clean but earthy palette, feels just so soothing when you walk in. Perhaps it’s the bric-a-brac feel to the place, with a mix of wooden square shelves adhered to the wall, low seats and tables, nothing really matching, but it all matching at the same time.
Water is a self served affair, and I’m positively delighted with the glass jugs used for the water, as they’re exactly the same ones we have at home. It’s a bit of an Asian thing I guess.
I naturally cannot resist a matcha or green tea latte, and although the flavour isn’t as strong as I hope it to be, it’s still good enough and I’m quite satisfied. Brad’s latte looks dark and gorgeous.
Tana Cafe’s menu is a little quirky, with a relatively small range of items, mostly sandwiches and bread based dishes, with not so much available for those who are into their big breakfasts.
My soft egg with avocado came with two big chunks of bread and a lovely little salad with raisins, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts. It surprised me a bit that even the egg was served cold, but it was a lovely, light and very refreshing dish. The soft egg was just right for mixing through the creamy avocado, all combining into a flavoursome mouthful. Definitely not the usual breakfast though!
Brad picked one of the specials, one of the few hot dishes on the menu, which was the baked egg…but unlike the usual baked egg with tomatoes, this was baked with Japanese curry. Being a slightly cool morning, this was just perfect, filling and warming. It was quite nice having a little punch of spice in the morning as well, and as Japanese curries usually are, it was very savoury and moreish.
Seeing that they have their own blend of chai, I also have to order one before I leave, and it's smooth and sweet. Could use a little more kick for me though personally.
Although I probably wouldn’t bring Brad in on a regular basis, there probably wouldn’t be enough for him there to eat, but I just loved the airy ambience, where time seemed to slow down for a second, and you have a moment to actually catch your breath.
36 Chuch Street