Finding fine bread in Japan is hard. A hard, crusty, yeasty fragrant country loaf is extremely rare unless you venture into the less known parts of the city where tourists don’t tend to go. I personally do not mind paying for good bread, but they certainly do not come cheap. That said, the usually ‘fuwa-fuwa’ soft and sweetened bread found at conbinis (convenience stores) are also yummy, just not in the traditional way, which is how I know and like my bread. I have however definitely grown to love those for sure!
When I do need my fix of drier, crustier bread, I either go to Gontran Cherrier (an artisanal bakery) or mope at home. However, a recent foray into Bills restaurant and café has resulted in a great brunch experience even though it was quite packed with families thus not the quietest place on Sunday at 11 am. The breadbasket was a hearty brioche: there was toasted sourdough and rye, crusty, and even better, buttered.
From Bill Granger who holds the title of “Best Breakfast in the World”, Bill’s restaurants found fame in Australia and subsequently expanded to Japan. The interior of the restaurant is industrial chic, with unpolished floors, mirrored walls and bookshelves laden abound with books on travel and cuisine.
The o-susume (house specialty/recommendation) was the ricotta pancake. We ordered that and a farmer’s breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and grilled mushrooms and tomato. The pancakes were light and almost sponge-like. The staff nicely obliged my request for more syrup. The eggs were swirly, creamy, and well complemented by the sides.
The smoothies and juices on the menu are also worth a mention. Relatively trendy options included kale and acai berry, but we settled on plain ol’ fresh orange juice. We were lucky to get a seat without calling in advance, but given the popularity, it would be good to give them a heads-up on the arrival of your party. Three cheers for a great brunch and real bread!
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