Sunday, July 24, 2016

Shikoku Autumn 2014 四国秋季之旅 - Cafe Salon Naka Oku カフェ 中奥

Visited 14.11.2014

Followed the signs to reach the cafe which is situated in a quiet and peaceful environment.
Left some room in our stomachs for dessert after a satisfying lunch at Aisunao. Decided to change to a different venue and came to Naka Oku. This cafe is also located in Honmura area but in a more secluded spot; about 10 - 15 minutes walk from the heart of the town. There were wooden signboard displayed along the route that led to the cafe. Followed a narrow path up a small hill and found an old wooden house with a beautiful noren (curtain) hung in front of its door - a way of supporting art in Naoshima. Upon sliding open the door, the strong aroma of coffee welcomed us to the cosy environment. Refurbished from an old residential unit, Naka Oku retains some of the original fixtures both inside and outside the house. Owner stood behind the bar counter, working hard to keep up with the continuous beverage orders. We were led to a table in an adjacent room with tatami mats. Window seats were also added for customers to enjoy their coffee and scenery at the same time. The owner was also a fan of antique - as one of the rooms was dedicated to old toys display. Though it was past lunch hour, business was relatively brisk in the cafe and was popular with foreign visitors. 

Bottom left and center: Chiffon cake and baked cheesecake. 
Coffee time. Curry rice, omelette rice and sandwiches were available on the main food menu. Dessert selection is limited to baked cheese cake, chiffon cake and milk gelatin (from Yasutomi Farm in Okayama). Ordered a baked cheese cake, chiffon cake, accompanied with their original house blended coffee and tea. The baked cheesecake was served in a tart; a nice and rich cheese filling with a crunchy biscuit on the outside. Was taken aback when I heard that the chiffon cake was soy sauce flavour - a combination that I would never think of. Passed the taste test: cake was very light and still tasted sweet because of the brown sugar and the caramel sauce drizzle, while the soy sauce flavour appeared as a subtle aftertaste. Coffee was superb - captivated by strong aroma and tasted slightly acidic. We spent the rest of our afternoon here, catching up with one another over desserts comfortably. Though desserts were not exceptionally spectacular, the comfortable and nostalgic ambience here will still make this humble little cafe stands out on this small island of Naoshima.


Cafe Salon Naka Oku 中奥
761-3110 香川県香川郡直島町本村字中奥1167
Opening hrs: 1130 - 2100 hrs (Closed on Tuesday)

How to get there?
By town bus. From Miyanoura Port (宮浦港) Bus Stop 2, take the bus heading for Tsutsujiso (つつじ荘) at Bus Stop 2 and alight at Nokyo Mae (農協前). Walk for another 10 - 15 minutes. Along the way, you will pass by some residential houses and will see clear wooden signboards leading to the cafe.

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