Saturday, 9 June 2012

Sapporo Cafes and Shops: D&D Department Project and Pippin.

I've been meaning to write about this place for so long. D&D Department Project is a fancy design goods/home wares/furniture/cafe place near Nishi 18 Chome on the Tozai line. It's pretty near one of the places I work so I've been there for lunch a few times, and it's a very cool, minimal, stylish place. For lunch, I'd say it's very nice, but a little expensive. Then again places like this are always good to have around so go take a look if you're in the area!

They actually repainted the exterior since I took this photo if you can believe it. That's how bloody long I've been meaning to do this post. The ground floor is all stylish, functional, minimal (expensive, but of course) stationery and home wares. It looks a little something like this:

No, wait. It looks exactly like that. Upstairs they sell furniture and all sorts of stylish made-in-Hokkaido goods. The cafe part is actually called Pippin, and is off to the left of the ground floor snap I took. They do a few lunch sets, all running to around a thousand yen. I got this type of thing a few times:

That was back when I took the photo of the building last year. And more recently:

An open-face sandwich thing and soup. It was very good but... yeah, I didn't really feel like I got a thousand yen worth of lunch there. Better was when I got the more standard lunch set.

Much more satisfying and also delicious. They have curry lunches as well that (unusually for me, coz I love Japanese curry) I haven't tried.

In case you don't know there's a nice Wallpaper City Guide to Sapporo that features D&D Department Project pretty prominently, along with an interview with Shin Sasaki of 3KG the design firm that runs D&D. Well worth picking that up, because I don't think think it's all that expensive and it's a nice alternative to the usual kind of guide book. No good for touristy sight-seeing, but I never care about that stuff anyway. I'd always much rather just see the city itself wherever I go.

Oh, I'll put this place on my map of course.

D&D Department Project
Odori (as in, it's on the street called Odori, North-South 0 as it were, not in the Odori area) West 17.
Open 12pm to 9pm Tuesday to Friday, 12pm to 8pm on Sundays.
Closed on Mondays.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Sapporo Cafes: Cafe Rosso

I don't really review restaurants and cafes here, I just slap up places I like so that other people know about them. That means that I go to some places that I don't think are all that great and so I don't write about them, because - hey, if you've got nothing nice to say then... y'know. I guess a couple of times I've been tempted to write something telling people to steer clear of a place, but nowhere has ever maddened me enough to actually try and harm their business. Oh! Do you know what? Scratch that. In Tokyo recently I went to Pancake Days in Harajuku, and despite us being the fourth table or so to be seated when the place opened it took them a good 20 minutes to take our order, then over an hour TO MAKE US PANCAKES. The place was busy, sure but the staff were dopey and when the pancakes FINALLY came they really weren't that impressive at all. If you're a popular pancake place in the middle of Harajuku I would think at the very least you'd have your shit together. We only went there because just looking at the line for Eggs and Things crushed my soul, but Pancake Days wasn't much better. So fuck that place.


So anyway I was on the fence about writing about Cafe Rosso because I wasn't sure I liked the place. Cons: it's expensive (around 900yen a dish for food, drinks 500yen and only a 100yen off that with the drink set) and the guy who ran the place didn't seem all that happy to see us. Which is to say he was kind of rude. Rudeness in Japan can be measured on a totally different scale to rudeness in the UK of course, and to be honest we're pretty spoiled here. He wasn't rude as such, but he wasn't exactly welcoming.

(An aside: on the way to Rosso we went past another coffee shop whose name I've forgotten, but where our waitress was even ruder than this guy. Maybe it's something to do with being near Sapporo Factory Mall.)

Pros: it's in a great old looking building and it's a really stylish place with an odd mash-up of decor. Oh and, the biggest pro - the food was fantastic and the coffee was great. So yeah, I thought, I can recommend this place.

Rosso is just around the corner from the big Sapporo Factory shopping mall (not the museum site, which is next to the Ario shopping mall). The closest stop on the subway would be Bus Center Mae, but it's not a long walk from Sapporo Station either.

The decor mash-up I mentioned above is about forty percent fishing to forty percent tattoos to twenty percent general retro styling. The counter has a massive array of fishing reels while up on the wall are some leather jackets and tattoo flash. A sign on the counter warns that the place is protected by a 'tattooed bad ass' and the dude did have a lot of tattoos. Perhaps the coolness I felt was his general demeanour - I mean, the cafe was fare more manly than most coffee shops, and I would hardly expect the proprietor of a place like this to be all smiles.

A word on the counter as well: they have a gorgeous, gorgeous wooden counter. That is all. I could've run my hand up and down that thing all day.

I got the kakuni (slow-cooked pork) curry, and it was great.

Good meat, good vegetables, great Japanese-style curry. Yuki had a tomato and eggplant pasta that was also wonderful. The sesame bread you can see at the back there was exceptional.

The coffees after were really good too, so for sheer quality I really recommend the place. Also it's a fun place to sit and look around, and if you like Japanese fishing manga he has a lot of those up on his shelves.


Cafe Rosso
札幌市中央区北3条東3丁目1番地 福山石油ビル1階
Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku, Kita 3 Jo, Higashi 3 Chome (North 3, East 3)
Open 11am til whenever and closed on Wednesdays!

And of course, onto the map it goes.