The International

Purify Your Life at Shiro Cafe

Erika L. (12)

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Looking for an aesthetic food pic to put on your Instagram feed? Give Shiro a try. A five- minute walk from Jiyuugaoka Station is Shiro,  a Japanese variety store. The store includes a fully vegan cafe (Shiro Cafe), natural food section (Shiro Life), cosmetic section (Shiro), and home goods section (Shiro Home) all in one. Shiro’s main concept is to use the “simple materials found in nature” to create something that can be used every day. All their branches mainly use the ingredient sake kasu, a by-product of sake (a Japanese alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice) production in their products. Their cosmetics and skin-care line strives to “enhance their clients’ natural beauty using simple natural methods”, while their cafe, redesigned in mid-2018 to be completely vegan, strives to bring out the “deliciousness of the material [vegetable]” as much as possible.

Shiro has two floors. The first floor exhibits a modern minimalistic look displayed with concrete and white walls along with glass and wooden tables. There, you’ll find the vegan cafe, Shiro Cafe, and their skin-care line, Shiro. In the center of the first floor is a wide staircase leading to a lower-level that has the same minimalistic features as the first floor. Some of the lower level’s features include: a concrete floor, black walls, wooden counters that showcase their cosmetics line, as well their natural food store, Shiro Life and home goods store, Shiro Home.

Shiro Cafe’s menu offers a variety of savory and sweet options including burgers, curries, parfaits, and pancakes too. The vegan caramel banana & sake kasu soy milk cream pancake comes in three stacks, topped with a handful of caramelized bananas and with a thick caramel sauce on the side. In between each pancake is a layer of mildly sweet soy-whipped cream with a hint of sake.

The vegan chocolate and cacao crumble parfait is made with layers of chocolate sauce, crushed chocolate cookies, soy whipped cream with sake kasu, and chocolate ice cream. Although both desserts are expensive (the parfait costing ¥1400, and pancake ¥1600), they are large enough to be shared between two or three people.

As it is fairly new, it is often crowded and very hard to visit without a reservation. Luckily, a reservation can be made either through their website where an online menu is also available or by calling the restaurant directly (03-5701-9146).

If you find yourself in Jiyuugaoka, you can make a quick stop at Shiro to either grab a smoothie, some cold-pressed juice, or a coffee to go as well.

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