チカキッサ タブコCAFE TABCO is a café found in the basement, just as its name implies, of ルネ丸高ビルRené Marutaka Bldg on 高辻通Takatsuji Street between 柳馬場通Yanaginobanba Street and 高倉通Takakura Street as of early October 2014. The owner of the former タカセガワブルースコーヒーTakasegawa Blues Coffee named the café taking the first parts of the name of his former café (TA(Takasegawa)BU(ブルーburuu, how the Japanese pronounce “blue”)CO(coffee)). I remember noticing it near the beginning of last year when I was on my way to another café (I usually tried to stop by one if I could get off work early enough) and I always meant to drop by…that time came on a whim in mid-May after I got off work nearby (I was actually on my way to culotte.
at the entrance to the stairs down to the café
Upon opening the door, this is the scene that met my eyes:
Pretty warm and bright for a basement café…my image of one is dark, sometimes, a bit seedy, quiet and smoky. It was quiet but only because I was the only customer and later there was smoking (to my dismay). I found it to be easy to enter, no matter what your gender.
a better look at the wall in the back…as one may perceive from the name, there are live performances (and music classes, too!) held here from what I’ve heard.
the view of the front part: there were goods on display behind which is the restroom area.
Since I wasn’t in the mood for curry, I ordered the 和定食：手羽元のさっぱり煮・梅昆布茶スープwa-teishoku: tebamoto no sappari-ni, ume-konbu cha suupu (Japanese meal: “refreshingly” stewed chicken wings and kelp & pickled plum tea soup), ￥800, which came with dainty portions of side dishes and rice…a nice-sized healthy meal, I’d say.
The wings had a light savory and tangy flavor and was very easy to eat, not to mention delicious. And I just love ume-konbu cha because although it’s considered a tea, it’s so much like a light soup, savory with a light sour punch.
Although I should have stopped there since I was planning to go to culotte, I couldn’t help ordering a はちみつバターのもちもちナンのトーストhachimitus-batah no mochi-mochi nan no tohsuto (honey-butter chewy nan toast), ￥400, and ブルースブレンド”Blues blend” coffee, ￥500, which came with a small cookie.
I had no regrets in ordering the nan toast…chewy and toasted just right, you can’t go wrong with honey and butter. And the deep-roasted coffee was just the way I like my coffee, deep and fragrant…I actually discussed my choice with the owner before ordering it.
Eventually regular customers started trickling in and it got animated; the lights were dimmed to accommodate the late hours. The calm and cool (in a good way, of course!) owner whom I had taken to be reserved had been very polite and kind with me when we were alone but I got to see him engage in friendly conversation with the regulars who sat at the counter in front of the kitchen area…if I come enough, I’m sure we’d get on the same way.☺
Three months later, I suggested TABCO for dinner with Rika after I got off work and as always she obliged. I arrived first and procured the table in the back with cushy chairs; the table was now pushed against the wall lengthwise with the two chairs side by side. I felt like the owner remembered me from last time (I did ask a lot of questions and take pictures) but since there were other customers, we didn’t get to talk much. When Rika arrived, we went through the menu before Rika ordered the あらこじトマトのキーマカレーarakoji-tomato no Kiima kareh (roughly-ground tomato Keema curry), ￥1000, and I the チーズのせ焼きキーマカレーchiizu-nose-yaki Kiima kareh (grilled Keema curry (and rice) topped with cheese), ￥1150; パインヨーグルトジュースpineapple yogurt juice came with the curry dishes.
On the first bite we both said, “美味しい～oishii~“, which means “delicious” in Japanese… rice topped with the cafe’s homemade curry, then cheese before being baked, then topped with some perfect boiled egg, there’s no way this wouldn’t be good! The juice was good, too…yogurt drinks are often paired with curry in Japan, it seems.
I convinced Rika to try a nan toast: we both had an almond-sugar nan toast (same price as the honey-butter one) for dessert
and I got an アイスカフェオレiced café au lait, ￥600, (accompanied by a small cookie again) to have with the nan (must have coffee☺).
The nan was perfectly toasted and perfectly chewy like before; Rika was impressed and although she was full afterward, she didn’t regret her decision. My café au lait was smooth and very easy to drink, so I had Rika try some (she doesn’t like coffee) and she agreed that it was good.
On our way out, I complimented the owner on our meals; he did remember me about which I was impressed. I have to pass the word on to more of my friends about this place.☺