Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cafe Dumbo, One of Our Very Favorite Spots in Kanazawa

2-11-6 Korinbo Kanazawa-city, Ishikawa
Phone: 076-255-6966
Open: 11:30 a.m. (Closed Thursdays)

Head behind Kohrinbo 109 and follow the roads down and away from the busy main road. You will run into an "old town" style street with brick and stone side walks running along a deep, flowing canal. Shops restaurants and cafes line the strip, but don't stop walking northwest until you've spotted Cafe Dumbo, a two story cafe and sweets shop hidden in Korinbo town.

Outside, a chalkboard menu declares the day's specials, while a welcoming note near the entrance encourages families and and those with children to settle in and enjoy.
Owners Miki and Takashi

Once inside, owners Miki and Takashi motion you to the stairs. On the second floor, you'll find a relaxing dining area made for lounging, talking with friends, or playing games. While the wood hints at something rustic, the arrangement and white wash across the floors, walls, and even the open, industrial ceiling provide a sense of airiness. Coupled with the large window facing the setting sun, the cafe has an otherworld quality that both separates it from the bustle of the malls nearby and yet seems comfortingly familiar. It's bohemian chic with a very personal touch.

Strewn about shelves and under tables are books of various sorts, from children's books to magazines on interior design to art. Plaid knit blankets are folded and set out for customer use. Groove jazz plays at the perfect volume to have a conversation over and yet still pause and and enjoy with no straining of the ear.

Little details give this place life, from the hand sewn menu covers to the design on the cappuccino foam to the chrysanthemum soap decoration to the wood burned logo on the clothespin that holds your check.

The clock continues its style from
the street menu and reinforces a
relaxed, even cheerful, atmosphere.

Whatever praises I can offer the look and feel of the cafe would fall too short to express the most important part of the business: their food. The presentation and quality equals that of a professional barista. Coffees and teas are full bodied as well as full of flavor. The featured items of the cafe, the baked sweets and treats, are perfect: the ingredients are well balanced, the consistency and presentation reflect a seasoned baker, and flavor is tantamount. Sweetness is a subtle and finely honed tool of this cafe's kitchen. It is never used to overwhelm, only to enhance the array of unique flavors, like the Cream Cheese and Raisin Scone, or the Earl Grey cupcake. Cafe Dumbo is, as my certified culinary chef husband puts it, a place he would be proud to bring a head chef to.

So if you find yourself in Kanazawa, make a trip over to Korinbo and find the roads downhill behind the Kohrinbo 109 mall. Whether you go for the food, the atmosphere, or the friendly service in Japanese or English, your trip to Cafe Dumbo will be well worth the stop and more.

A handmade menu cover, appropriate for carefully
made, home baked goods.
Look for special tags changing in the menu,
and ask about the day's special cakes and muffins.
Games and magazines await the next customers.
Our favorite spot, lit by the evening sun.
Character and charm continue even
into the wash room.

Unique flavors, professional presentation, and
impressive quality will empty these plates
and send us back for more.

Every detail, every time. If you can only visit once,
do so.

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