Usagui Japanese Cafe is the most novel shop I have come across in Barcelona yet.
What is it that makes it so? Well. I think it’s that it isn’t trying to be novel. It doesn’t have a clever sign with some bespoke packaging to fool you into thinking that something pedestrian; shaved ice cream (Eyescream & Friends) say or pick and mix candy (Happy pills) is something out of the ordinary.
And it doesn’t suffer from the affliction of so many places in Barcelona – aspiring to one day be a chain.
Usagui Japanese Cafe specializes in tea. They have a small display of exquisite desserts with a particular emphasis on green tea. A chiffon swiss roll. A small tart, with perfectly golden pastry of impressive thinness, filled with green tea creme patisserie. Just the right amount of green tea – not green tea for green tea’s sake, indiscriminately shoveled in only so it could be tacked to a menu somewhere for kudos.
There is the smallest of lunch menus. Yakisoba (€8), Kake Udon (€7.5), Oyako Don (€9), Hamburguesa (€9). In comparison to the faultless pastries, the savory dishes are flirting with being sloppy but not quite falling over the ledge into that category. It’s Japanese comfort food and it looks the part.
Two Japanese women mince around silently as if their steps are hindered by an invisible kimono. One wears a headscarf so low over her brow that she tips her head back to see out from under it when she takes an order.
Love this place. I would hug it if I could.
See this and more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
C/ Santjoanistes, 28.
Wed – Sat: 13:30–21:30