After much deliberation and Sakura viewing, our next destination on the countdown to Ise Summit is Yokkaichi City (四日市市), a small pocket of urbanity between Nagoya City (名古屋市) and Ise City (伊勢市). Allow me to introduce Cafe Moi (カフェモイ), one of my frequent haunts. This two-storey, Moomin-themed cafe first attracted me when I went to the Yokkaichi Municipal Museum for a Cheburrashka–no, spellcheck, not cheeseburger–exhibit a few years ago. Anyone can feel comfortable at Cafe Moi: friends, couples, hipsters, and busy men who need a quick, delicious, reasonably priced bite to eat during lunch break. I specified men because the stereotypical patrons of cafes in Japan are women of leisure. The atmosphere is casual for Japan: customers pay at the door and are generally left to themselves after they receive their order. However, the couple who own this cafe are friendly. The wife chatted with me after I finished my meal and invited me to come back for a live show, which takes place at least twice a month on the first floor!
I usually go to Cafe Moi alone, but I have gone there for dinner with two friends, Wise and Smarty. My friends and I split the Pumpkin Squash Gratin (かぼちゃグラタン, Kabocha Gratin ￥800) and Pumpkin Squash Soup (かぼちゃスープ, Kabocha Soup ￥500) one hot summer evening. Then, we each cooled down with a Seasonal Icecream Parfait (季節限定アイスパフェ, Kisetsu Gentei Aisu Pafe, ￥400-￥500) which changes about every three months. Actually, Wise and Smarty both ordered the Coffee Icecream Parfait (コーヒーアイスパフェ), I ordered the Seasonal Strawberry Parfait and experienced dessert envy. Even now, the large scoops of homemade icecream nestled on cereal and embellished with cookies, wafers, Pocky, and flavored syrup lure me from afar. To date, I have tried the Cherry Blossom (桜, Sakura), Banana (バナナ, similar pronunciation), Strawberry (苺, Ichigo), and Sweet Potato (薩摩芋, Satsumaimo) Icecream Parfaits. The Coffee Icecream Parfait is, thankfully, available all year round.
Celestey’s 裁き (sah ba key, Judgement)
Tiered Afternoon Set: 7/10 (Price aside, the Tofu Cheesecake was off-putting.)
Pumpkin Squash Gratin: 6/10
Pumpkin Soup: 7/10
Coffee Ice cream Parfait: 10/10
Aside from the Icecream Parfaits, you can order open-faced sandwiches (￥800), salads (￥750~), gratin (￥800), soup (￥500), dessert toasts, lunch sets (￥800-￥1500), drinks (from ￥400), and more. There is also a showcase full of whimsical cookies in various shapes, muffins, cakes, scones, and even birthday candles. The best part is, Cafe Moi is only seven minutes from Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station (近鉄四日市駅) on foot.
Cafe Moi’s Info:
Address: 〒510-0075 三重県四日市市安島１丁目６－７ (Mie-ken, Yokkaichi-shi, Yasujima 1-6-7)
Hours: Tuesday-Friday (12-23:30 last order 23:00), Saturday-Sunday/National Holidays (10:00-22:00)
Holidays: Monday (except in the case when a national holiday falls on a Monday, then the hours are 12:00-19:00)
Smoking: Separate Smoking Section on 2nd Floor