Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Terzo Tempo Cafe テルツォ・テンポ

Visited 17.11.2014

Exterior of Terzo Tempo.
Atmosphere. Found out that Terzo Tempo means "3rd time" in Italian. Despite a Italian name, this humble cafe has no European flair. From the look of its exterior, I would never have figure out this isolated two storey wooden shop house is a cafe. No eye catching signboard nor attention seeking outdoor decor - some may even find it shabby from the outside. Upon entering the cafe, a sense of tranquility hits you immediately. No fanciful interior design but comfortable, natural colours to welcome its customers. Natural ventilation and lighting came from the entrance into its small dining area. Furnishing are mostly recycled - one big wooden table, a few side tables, benches, an old sewing machine stand used to display potted plants, nostalgic looking analogue wall clock - time seemed to have come to a still in this small space.

Food, drinks & music. Mr Sano is an advocate of art and music; he lends out space to promote works of local artists and sells tickets to indie musical concerts held in the local community. In Terzo Tempo, one can relax to the soothing music played in the background while enjoying a cup of coffee and let time passes slowly. This ambience is in line with the name of this cafe - doing something for a "third time" is a luxury. Ordered the only lunch dish found on their menu - it was chicken curry rice on the day of our visit. Do be patient since the food is only prepared upon order. I must say the wait was worthwhile as this simple plate of chicken curry rice was very delicious - gravy has the right amount of spiciness, accompanied with brown rice and fresh greens. Cafe serves other light snacks such as croque monsieur クロックムッシュ (ham and cheese sandwich) and English muffin. There is a good variety of drinks to choose from, such as coffee, tea, beer, juices, etc. Had the royal milk tea and it was as good as it can get.

Delicious curry chicken rice.
Remember. One other deep impression I had of this down to earth cafe was the warm hospitality extended by the owners. Since there was no English menu available, I struggled to decipher the Japanese characters. The lady at the counter was eager to help me out on the menu, using a mixture of Japanese and simple English. Later on, the lady went back to the kitchen to prepare the food, while a man appeared at the counter to make us our drinks. Found out from Milly's travelogue (四國,海島漫遊) that he is the owner of the cafe - Mr Sano. He migrated from Tokyo to Kochi to manage this cafe several years ago. Managed to strike a short conversation with him while he was working, with my broken Japanese & hand gestures, as I inquired about the places that I should visit in Kochi. Without further ado, he searched through a stack of brochures stuffed in the file folder and came back with a map of the nearby area. He patiently went through with me his recommendations - a list of restaurants, cafes, bakery, shops and an organic market (held every Saturday) that were worth visiting. Was touched by the friendly and sincere gesture from him and his wife - they are among many strangers whom we met and made this trip in Shikoku a very memorable one!     


Terzo Tempo テルツォ・テンポ 
780-0821 高知県高知市桜井町2-5-30
Opening hrs: 1100 - 1900 hrs
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

- About 10 mins walk from 7 Days Hotel.
- From Kochi JR Station, take Tosaden Electric Tram and alight at Hasuike-machi-dori (蓮池町通) stop. About 15 mins walk from this tram stop. 

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