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Restaurant Review: Café Taiyounotou

(太陽ノ塔): Green West


It’s difficult to find a chilled out café in the bustling city of Osaka. I usually go round in circles looking for one then realise I’m still in Umeda station. That’s when I give up, and head to Starbucks. I feel slightly guilty as I enjoy my white caramel mocha. To think I’m in Osaka, a city boasting over 100 Michelin stars, and there I am, in one of the 20,000 branches of this U.S coffee chain. It’s time to give Osaka the exploration it needs.


cafe wallpaperJourneying past the realms of Umeda really opens up your dining (and shopping) options. Nakazakicho is a ward of Osaka just a 10 minute walk away from the busyness of Umeda. It is a huge contrast in terms of noise level, building style and businesses. The quiet streets of Nakazakicho calmly offer second-hand clothing, nik-naks and self-made boutiques to its trendy frequenters. It was the first time I had seen something that felt close to Europe in Osaka.


A friend took me, along railway tracks, past vintage shops and into a back alley, to a little hidden emerald café, Green West. The confidence of the green exterior carried through inside; there was a strong sense of the 60s that played well in this cutesy, quaint place. Groovy mustard yellow wallpaper covered one wall; mismatched psychedelic prints layered the others, creating a warm, non-threatening environment. The mezzanine floor made the setting open and inviting since you could peer over sunken sofas at the other customers on their benched seats. The clientele varied from care-free uni students making a pot of chamomile tea last hours as they ‘studied’ to a couple romantically sharing a slice of chocolate cake.


cafe menu

A pretty waitress showed us up to our table. There, laid waiting, were a few photo albums- of course these were the menus, how quirky. It was easy to miss the food pages as this café has an extensive drinks menu, mostly made up of fruit teas and cocktails. The food menu was limited but I like that. It’s encouraging to think they only need a few top rated dishes to satisfy their customers. There wasn’t one clear type of cuisine on offer but rather a collection of Thai, Hawaiian and Japanese. I opted for the open taco (~900円) and my companion, the Thai green curry (~900円). The menu was in Japanese, but mainly in katakana so you could guess a lot of what was on offer, or just point and play a bit of restaurant roulette.


foodThe free time presented after ordering was used to leisurely flick through the drinks again and spot a curious flyer. The café, unsurprisingly, turns into a cool late night drinking hole featuring local DJs. Having added an evening return to Green West to my Japan bucket list, another edgy, attractive waitress delivered our plates. My taco was nowhere to be seen. Instead I had rice topped with a chili-con-carne-type mixture, topped with an egg, framed by a green salad. The meal was a party for all the senses: the rainbow of colours welcomed me in; the meaty smell triggered my salivary glands; the texture of the runny egg contrasted with the chunky rice heaped on my tongue; the flavor of spices and herbs infused my taste buds and the resulting sound of a Japanese cooking show host (oooooiiiishiiiiiiii!) completed the sensory carnival.


For the after party it was only right to order cake. One caramel, banana, chocolate cake with a clear pot of rooibos for me (~900円) and the strawberry cheesecake with a side of coffee for my friend please! Even though I was fully saturated from the taco-less taco I did not regret the sweet order. It was delish, and delicately complimented by the loose leaf tea.


CAFE_~1We watched day turn into night from Green West. It’s that sort of place where life just passes you by as you chat about recent happenings. Green West is one of 5 Café Taiyounotous in Osaka, so not as unique as I once thought, but it’s still much less than 20,000.


A great place for cake and tea and lunch and chats.



Address: 2丁目-4-36 Nakazakinishi, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-0015

Tel: 06-6131-4400

Website: http://taiyounotou.com/

Opening times: 11.00~24.00

Lunch: ~1000ï¿¥ (11.00~16.00)

Dinner: ~ 1500ï¿¥

English: Not really

Groups: up to 4


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