A friend recommended our second Yokkaichi (四日市) Cafe, Raji Cafe Apartment (ラジカフェアパートメント, raji cafe apa-tomento). It just so happened I needed to visit Yokkaichi’s Immigration Bureau. The free Black Sesame Seed Pudding (黒ゴマプリン, goma purin) coupon sweetened the deal. One grey day, I cautiously approached the menu outside Raji’s door. Why so cautious? If you stand outside of most eating establishments more than 10 seconds, a wait person will surely come out to say, “Irasshaimase” (いらっしゃいませ, “welcome honored guest”). Speaking of doors, Raji Cafe Apartment’s is only 5 minutes from Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station:
Raji Cafe Apartment has an art exhibit space on the second floor. The owner displays one piece from the current exhibit in the front window. The lovely paper dress display probably won’t be there if you go, but you can feast your eyes on other artists’ works. The interior is simple, very functional, yet the atmosphere is quietly friendly. The front of the cafe is non-smoking, which is where I sat. One man studied alone at a table for two with an orange juice. A lady in a beige tunic finished her lunch in the other corner.
Raji Cafe’s Lunch Menu (all sets include coffee or tea [hot or cold])
Soup Set (￥870)
-Borscht or Cream Soup
Salmon Avocado Wrap, Tuna Egg Wrap, Ham and Cream Cheese Bagel, Smoked Salmon with Capers Bagel, or Spicy Tuna Curry Bagel
Lunch Set (￥980)
-Pork Tonteki (thick slices of grilled pork with garlic, cabbage, and a savory sauce [a famous Yokkaichi dish]) and Rice
-Hamburger (made in house) and Rice
Omelet Rice Set (￥980)
-Hashed Beef and Mushroom Omelet Rice
-Tuna Tomato Omelet Rice
-Miso Cheese Omelet Rice
Pasta Set (￥980)
-Anchovy and Olive Tomato Sauce Pasta
-Fish Eggs and Eggplant Cream Pasta
-Meat Sauce Pasta
Aside from the daily Lunch Set, Raji serves Soup Sets, Omelet Rice Sets, and Pasta Sets from 11:oo-14:00. I finally settled on the Spicy Curry Tuna Bagel “Sand” Soup Set, but the Salmon Avocado Wrap Roll Soup Set came in a close second. Sand?
In Japan, people write foreign words in katakana (片仮名, カタカナ). Longer words are often shortened to the first two syllables. For example, air conditioner is “エアコンディショナー” (ea condishona-). It is long, so everyone calls it エアコン (ea kon).
Yes, sand, technically sando (サンド), which is short for sandwich (サンドウィッチ). I savor the thick, creamy soup. Between paragraphs, I munch on the warm, chewy bagel with sour, almost smoky tuna spread. For dessert, I enjoyed dainty forkfuls of Orange Bergamot Tarte (￥400). As I ordered lunch, my dessert was ￥100 off!
Crushed walnuts top the Black Sesame Pudding. Though the ground black sesame seeds bespeckle the dessert, the texture is smooth. It is sufficiently sweet. What does it taste like? Black sesame seed custard. I enjoyed it, but I am glad it was free.
Celestey’s 裁き (sah bah key, judgement)
Cream Soup: 6/10 Good, but not memorable.
Spicy Curry Tuna Bagel: 7/10
Orange Bergamot Tarte: 6/10
Black Sesame Pudding: 7/10
Raji Cafe Apartment’s Info
Address: 〒510-0086 三重県四日市市諏訪栄町１−６ (Mie-ken, Yokkaichi-shi, Suwasakaemachi 1-6)
Hours: 10:00-24:00 (Lunch 11:00-14:00)
Smoking: Separate Section