Tag Archives: Neu

Lots to Do

In case you’ve lost track, the weekend has an impressive lineup of events including:

  • The first of three live music Saturday beergardens tomorrow evening at the Sakazuki Art Museum in Ichinokura
  • A “machikon” beergarden atop a two-storey public parking lot in Tajimi to view the fireworks there on Sunday
  • A similar konkatsu (mixer) type affair at Secret Time Cafe on Saturday, where if you bring a date, there’ll be a special chance to enjoy Toki’s fireworks festival (not sure if it’s in their parking lot, but that would definitely be a nice spot); by reservation only. They’re still looking for takers last I heard
  • Something called Kokeizan Dining on Sunday, which sounds like a beergarden from one of Tajimi’s most scenic spots (advance purchase tickets required)
  • Neu Cafe, while itself closed after lunch Sunday, will be offering outside the shop draft beer, Okinawan food, curry, tandoori chicken sandwiches and more in the buildup to the fireworks
  • And of course Toki’s (Saturday) and Tajimi’s (Sunday) fireworks festivals with stalls set up all along the river (and Chuo Dori in Toki; Nagase Dori in Tajimi) all afternoon and evening; Tajimi’s festival is part of its Gozasse Natsu Matsuri

20130802-152521.jpg

These are just goings on I happen to be aware of. I’m sure there are plenty of others as well.

Guides to Good Times in Gifu and Beyond

Sitting here at the counter at Neu, I pick up this magazine, and the first three pages I randomly open up are places I immediately recognize, though two of them I only went to once, five and nine years ago. Not bad. This has got my attention.

20130629-171247.jpg

I’ve never seen this magazine before, but it’s clearly a kind I like. Beautiful photography introducing area shops, inns, restaurants, cafes, hot springs…any way or place to spend quality leisure time. Every new season there’s a different theme. This summer the focus is on “the view out the window.” (The cover story is on summer fun, then and now).

Then Neu’s owner brings out another magazine, this one from the publishers of Cheek, highlighting cafes, bakeries and sweets shops in Gifu, Mie, Aichi and Nagoya, as well as Shiga, Nagano and Shizuoka. Again, irresistible photos and presentation make me want to head out and try as many of these places as I can.

20130629-214948.jpg

Actually, Neu appears in both of them, so their being here is no coincidence. Anyway, I’d say I’m sufficiently piqued that I plan to go out and pick up my own copies soon and do a little cafe-cruising, at least on paper. Both are available in bookstores, with Hitomi even in convenience stores. Cheek’s July issue, below, also checks out Gifu hotspots.

20130709-223750.jpg

Cherry Blossoms and Salad Days

20130617-195142.jpg

“American cherries” and sakurambo cherries we’ve been seeing plenty of in supermarkets lately, but I think this was the first time I ever saw “cherry mint” flowers, growing at Neu Cafe. The leaves will find their way into something good, I’m sure.

Speaking of leaves, this coming Saturday night, Neu will have a “Salad Day Night” (their pun) event, featuring a salad smorgasboard cooked up by special guest “Necco,” who was formerly a chef at Cafe Ondo. A DJ will be providing the music.

Update: As of June 21st, the event is all booked up. Over 40 guests are expected.

Minding the Use-By Dates

Time for a roundup of random recent restaurant snapshots piling up in my camera roll. Wouldn’t want them to spoil. And have you ever tried to get hardened cheese out of the iPhone film compartment? All are items new to their menus.

Home Cooking

20130220-184920.jpg

Above, some unique-looking lasagna at Reverie et French restaurant (Sorry, iDevice users. Flash required for their website). I realized it’s actually been nearly two years since I blogged about the restaurant I work ten feet away from, and that shares its website and part of its name with my business’s. I think that’s pretty good avoidance of conflict of interest. They remodelled last year, and I’ll include more photos in a background image for some remodelling of the blog I’m hoping to do.

Laying It On Thick

20130220-185150.jpg

Next, the February/March limited BLTA (avocado) bagel at Cafe de Shinsui. I don’t know how they manage it, but those succulently suspended tomato seeds come out that way every time. The bacon is really like Canadian bacon or thickly sliced ham.

It Is a Bakery, After All…

20130220-185315.jpg

Neu bread and curry cafe, continuing its popularity since hitting the ground running late last year, has introduced a couple of sandwiches to the lunch curry menu. This is the mozarella and tomato on homemade bread, giving grilled cheese an upstanding name, as it deserves. Everyone I’ve seen eat it likes it.

Eating Inside Out

20130220-185450.jpg

Finally, I only tried this because I saw another blog’s rousing recommendation and couldn’t tell if it was sarcastic or what. It’s the “Kentucky Chicken Rice” from KFC, available only this month. Two juicy pieces of fried chicken where buns would normally be, holding ketchupy rice where there’d be meat. It’s advertised with exclamation points and question marks (disclaimers?!). I can attest that it’s pretty good, better than I would’ve expected. Maybe a little less ketchup and mayo would do.

Disclaimer vs. Claimer

Remember, they asked me to do this blog. That’s this guy’s excuse for playing Ansel Adams with his food. Just been seeing knocks on folks photographing every meal and oversharing their bacon fixation.

Pumpkin Bread

Wherever I go recently, somehow pumpkin seeds keep popping up. It’s nice to see something that often goes to waste put to good, or dare I say, elevated, use.

20121208-165203.jpg

The top one here, from Artigiano in Tajimi, had seeds both inside (chock full!) and out. From Neu bread and curry cafe on the bottom are Tandoori chicken sandwiches made to look like mini-hamburgers, with acorn squash seeds taking the place of sesame.

20121208-165211.jpg

A Welcome Addition to Your Local Slate of Cafes

Yesterday was the long-anticipated opening of Neu Curry and Bread Cafe near Showabashi Bridge in downtown Tajimi.

20121102-155230.jpg

Lunch will be from 11:30 to 3:00, after which they’ll serve coffee, tea and spirits and light food until 9:00 or so every day except Mondays and Wednesdays. Fresh baked breads are available as long as they last.

20121102-012715.jpg
By the time I got there almost an hour after opening, there was already a waiting list, so I ran some errands and came back after 2:00. Most of the bread was gone by then, but I did snap up a sunflower-, pumpkin- and poppyseed bagel.

20121101-180652.jpg

The chef, here disappearing into the spanking new kitchen behind the swizzle sticks, kept a steady flow of eager eaters happy. People apparently had been noticing the recent “opening soon” signs, and were itching to come.

20121101-180525.jpg

This mild “Chicken Koruman” (don’t know the romanization) was very nice.

20121101-180538.jpg

All of the curries are inspired by the chef’s observations on trips to the subcontinent.

20121101-180624.jpg

A small zakka (notions) area, and lots of bric-a-brac and funky reading material lie around to be explored.

20121102-235854.jpg

Some antiques challenge you to figure out what they are/were.

20121102-012724.jpg

Besides giving downtowners a new daytime bakery and lunchspot, being on or near the way home for many, Neu figures to be a popular place to hang out with friends after work.

20121101-180636.jpg

With its corner location on the river, multiple commanding views, and access to many of the same sunsets you’ve seen here on the blog, I can still foresee lots of angles and lighting conditions for photos from Neu, so forgive my indulgence in advance.

20121102-161703.jpg

Neu Kids on the Block

20120916-062216.jpg

There must’ve been a dazzling rainbow sky a few minutes before this scene yesterday evening, but I was indisposed at the time. As the sun set, a combination tsukimi (harvest moon viewing, despite no moon in view) and pre-opening party for Neu (from the German, pronounced “noy”), the curry and bread cafe set to open next month by Showabashi Bridge, got under way a couple of doors down from work.

20120916-064109.jpg

In beautiful smoke-free bliss, fans had a chance to check out the funky retro decor (note the corrugated area below the rounded counter to the right above – lots of nice touches like that)…

20120916-063952.jpg

…and sample the curry, bread and drinks that will be on offer come October. The bakery will sell various breads as well as serve in-store. The newlywed owners and staff were busy in the kitchen keeping orders filled all night.

20120916-064005.jpg

Wig Got a Groovy Kinda Love

Note: Some of the hair in the photos you are about to see was afroficially produced in strict accordance with local and international polyester protection laws. No poodles or sheep were shorn (though I suspect small amounts of whiskey and/or pride were swallowed) in the making of this scene. Technicolor by PS Express iPhone app from Adobe. No, there are no disco lights at Nue. The lighting is thoughtfully done and you won’t leave with your ears ringing or spots in your eyes.

20120916-064037.jpg

Everyone had a fine time. Besides an eclectic collection of CDs on the excellent sound system, two bands supplied music – jazz standards, and the funk pictured here – which I only now realize was not so unneccessarily loud as is often the case at these places: Neu’s not noisy. The band’s identity is a closely guarded secret That’s the owner on bass guitar on the left. Good show.

20120916-064046.jpg

Neu is quite the photogenic venue, so look forward to more good cafe shots in the near future, and to good times with food and frirends when the cafe actually opens.

20120916-072018.jpg

It’s a Megaphone! It’s a Sombrero! It’s a UFO! It’s…

I made the rounds of the nearby Tajimi Ceramic Festival again yesterday, this time sampling the Turkish kebab sandwich cart as I always manage to do.

During another stop at the Casanova (Neu) stand at the Kappa Ichiba grounds on Nagase Dori, I had a cup of chai to the accompaniment of a raggedy, generation-spanning (probably from under 10 to over 70) band of percussionists, learning that some people add brandy to their chai. Interesting idea. My friend, meanwhile got punch-drunk on Casanova’s (Neu’s) Sangria. We discussed the pros and cons of the store name, and agreed it’s subject to change.

Mystery Mounds

Purification Rite?

Some stores had these dishes with cones of salt (sugar cones?!) on the ground in front, but my Japanese friend didn’t know what the custom was. Some kind of funereal or purification rite perhaps?

[Update: It is to ward off evil, and possibly related to a custom of offering salt to the horses of customers or wayfarers.]