Is the appeal in that it’s retro or that it’s just hard to find?

It’s been a week since Mr. Sato explored the newly opened Miyashita Park. While the complex features designer brand goods such as Louis Vuiton and facilities such as a rock climbing wall, a beach volleyball court, and a skate park, what really caught Mr. Sato’s attention was… the food court.

Opened on August 4 and dubbed Shibuya Yokocho, the food court features regional specialties from Hokkaido to Okinawa that you’d have to travel far to taste-test otherwise. Mr. Sato found the food court appealing to his aesthetics; it was orderly but had a homely vibe. Besides Japanese regional specialties, visitors could also try out Chinese, Korean, and Western cuisine.

▼ Originally meant to be open 24 hours a day, COVID-19 preventative measures have unfortunately shortened the food alley’s current operating hours.

But as Mr. Sato walked around, poring over the details of the alley, savoring the waft of freshly made meals, he noticed a peculiar set of steps. Though the more cautious individual may be able to talk themselves into not climbing up a suspicious staircase, Mr. Sato, who had a track record of persevering through the most adverse conditions, couldn’t help himself.

Up the stairs, in what seemed to be a serendipitous discovery, Mr. Sato stumbled across Omoide. Outfitted in velveteen upholstery, idol posters from the ’80s, and pseudo stained-glass light paneling, Mr. Sato’s initial vibe-check of the place screamed Showa period (1926–1989).

▼ Roses are red, violets are blue, we have a calendar tradition with Mr. Sato and Co. in gravure nude.

▼ No mullets here cause it’s a party in the front AND in the back.

▼ Those records are still usable, right?

Settling into his seat, Mr. Sato examined the menu. While Omoide is technically a cafe, the establishment becomes a snack bar during the night, serving a one hour special of all-you-can-drink shochu and whiskey packaged with all-you-can-karaoke for just 3,000 yen. (US$28.43) Talk about a steal if you’re a heavyweight drinker!

Mr. Sato wasn’t planning on getting boozed up so early in the day, though, so he flipped through the rest of the menu. There were the standard cafe drinks such as fruit juices, milkshakes, and cream soda, but the one that caught Mr. Sato’s eye was the “Beer Float” for 800 yen (US$7.58), which consisted of a generous scoop of ice cream floating in a pint of beer.

In terms of meals, the cafe sold signature, nostalgic items such as thick-cut toasts, sandwiches, and pork fried with ginger. However, patrons could also order food from Shibuya Yokocho’s stalls downstairs. Between Napolitan spaghetti and grilled chicken skewers, Omoide offered the best of both worlds.

Instead of digging into a plate of curry, Mr. Sato decided to finalize his vibe-check of the cafe by eating pudding. Ordering one pudding à la mode at 700 yen (US$6.63), Mr. Sato carefully examined the dessert when it arrived. Set in an oblong glass vessel, the pudding looked luscious with a corpulent scoop of ice cream and a varied assortment of fruits. The verdict?

A complete vibe-check pass. Mr. Sato, 46-years-old and totally qualified to vibe check the vintage and the retro, can attest that the familiar sweetness and design of the pudding was textbook-Showa style.

For any traveler or shopper in Shibuya, Mr. Sato definitely recommends Omoide as a place to take a break and unwind. With barely any customers, tucked away from the throng of commuters and tourists, and overflowing with a relaxing, nostalgic vibe, Omoide is like a secret getaway in a city known for its hustle and bustle as well as pedestrian shenanigans.

Cafe Information
Junkissa & Snack Omoide / 純喫茶 & スナック 思ひ出
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-gu, Jingu-mae 6-20 Rayard Miyashita Park South 1・2F
東京都渋谷区神宮前6丁目20番地 RAYARD MIYASHITA PARK South 1・2F
Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
※ Business hours subject to change due to COVID-19.

Photos © RocketNews24
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