(Mini-)Food Report: Coffee and Dessert at Hands Cafe (Naha, Okinawa, Japan)

This quick café stop in the Okinawan capital almost didn’t make the cut – in blogging terms, anyway – as I didn’t gather quite enough material to compose a proper Food Report with. That said, I’ve already rolled out a couple of (Mini-)Food Reports in recent weeks, so why not one more? (Besides, I’m sure we’ll need a bit of sweet to balance out the savoury goodness of that steak lunch I wrote about yesterday.)

Welcome to Hands Cafe.

OVERVIEW

Name? Hands Cafe, Naha Main Place Branch (ハンズカフェ 那覇メインプレイス店).

Speciality? Typical café offerings – hot and cold beverages, desserts, and an assortment of light meals.

Where? On the ground floor of the Naha Main Place shopping centre, a few hundred metres from Omoromachi Station on the Yui Rail line in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. I’ve pinned the café’s precise location on the following map.

Operating hours? 1100-2200 (last order 2130), according to the official website. Note that the shop’s hours changed earlier this year, which may account for the different schedule posted on Tabelog.

English menu? Available.

Related links? Official Site (branch page) / Tabelog.

Date of visit? Tuesday, 08 May 2018.

Time of day and type of meal? Early afternoon, snack.

This won’t be a full-scale Food Report (hence the “Mini” qualifier in the post title), so let’s keep things short and sweet.

My sister and I had just enjoyed a hearty lunch at Wafū-tei, in the Naha Main Place shopping centre – click here to read my post about that experience. Needless to say, we were hankering for a bit of sweetness to cap off the meal … and I, as a coffee addict, was just about due for my second cup of the day. We already knew that there was a café within the same area of the mall, having passed Hands Cafe after our brief shopping excursion to the local Tōkyū Hands branch (right next door), so the choice was easily made.

Whilst not packed, Hands Cafe was far from empty at the time, so I was reluctant to take detailed photographs of the interior. Here’s a shot snapped on the sly, just to give you an idea of the setting.

A glass of cold water to start things off. The table was also equipped with menus, a small metal bucket containing wet wipes and paper napkins, and a buzzer for summoning staff.

There was a decent selection of beverages (hot and cold) and food (sweet and savoury) on offer, but I’ll just post the specific menu pages we picked out our choices from.

My selection: a pair of Japanese-style cakes, green tea and black sesame flavour (抹茶と黒ごまの和風ケーキ, matcha to kurogoma no wafū kēki, 600 yen), paired with hot coffee (extra 210 yen if ordered as a set with dessert).

Nice and simple, not mind-blowingly awesome – either to the eyes or on the palate – but beautiful in their own way and quite delicious. Perhaps a little lacking in density, but that seems fairly typical for Japanese cakes and isn’t a major complaint (I just personally prefer my cakes with more body and more concentrated flavours).

The brown sugar cube for my coffee was a nice touch – though the plastic packaging did detract from the impact somewhat (at least visually).

My sister’s choice: a stack of warmed brownie chunks and chilled crème brûlée cubes (キュービック~ブラウニー&カタラーナ~, 650 yen). Funnily enough, the Japanese menu entry uses “catalana” (カタラーナ) whereas the English caption has “brûlée” (which would have been written out as ブリュレ). Whilst I’m aware that crema catalana is very similar in character and composition to crème brûlée, I find the disparity in terms rather interesting … though we should probably forgo the linguistic digression and simply salivate over the picture.

Stunning. I wish I’d ordered this myself. Not in place of the cakes, mind you – in addition to them. (^_^)

Time for our usual parting question: would I go back?

Gladly.

Cheerio.

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