Eatery delivers sweets, drinks with the elegant cooperation of flowing water.
While some traditionalists scoffed when kaitenzushi (revolving sushi) restaurants first appeared in Japan, they’ve now become a widely loved part of the Japanese restaurant landscape. Randomly stroll around just about any urban neighborhood in Japan, and you’re likely to find at least one kaitenzushi place, if not multiple such restaurants to choose from.
But the managers of Tamura, a cafe in Saitama City’s Omiya Ward, see no reason that sushi should be the only food delivered to diners by making its way around a circuit, and so the restaurant has a small river flowing inside its countertop on which your dessert floats to you.
Tamura has both counter and table seating, but you’ll want to ask for the former by telling the staff “Kaunta seki wo onegai shimasu.” Once seated, you’ll see that there’s a roughly oval indention in the counter that’s filled with water.
When you place your order, tell the staff “Nagashite kudasai” (literally “Let it flow”), and instead of the server carrying your food to you, it’ll instead come drifting down the river, like our green tea shaved ice with ice cream does in the video below!
You’re supposed to take your food from the tray and let the floating tray itself continue on. If you’re looking to capture the experience on video or in photos, we recommend having a friend be your cameraman, as the river actually flows pretty quickly, so you’ll probably want full use of our hands when grabbing your order.
Oh, and you can get your beverages the same way. In addition to our deluxe 830-yen (US$7.50) shaved ice, we also got a pot of hot coffee for 650 yen, which came floating up shortly after our dessert.
While it took a little bit of concentration, we were able to successfully procure all of our order, including the packets of cream and sugar which were also carried to us by the river counter.
While kaitenzushi can be found just about anywhere in Japan, Tamura’s elegant take on revolving dining is extremely unique, and a compelling reason to take the 31-minute train ride from Tokyo Station for a mid-afternoon snack.
Kanmi-ya Cafe Tamura / Kanmi-ya Cafe 田むら
Saitama-ken, Saitama-shi, Omiya-ku, Nishiki-cho 630 Lumine 2, 1st floor
Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
[ Read in Japanese ]