Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the Nishinohara district of Hasami Town, with its stylish cafes and variety stores.
I went for a stroll to see what all the fuss was about ☆
This building was once a huge ceramics factory covering an area of around 4950 square metres. In recent years the building has been converted into a row of fashionable stores.
Even the bus stop has a kind of retro feel!
First, let’s go to where it all started – the spark that began the Nishinohara revival – ‘monne legui mooks’ cafe.
From the outside we can see a very retro Showa-style chimney sticking straight up out of the tiled roof.
Inside, the simple yet stylish furniture is arranged very naturally.
Even though I visited during the day on a weekday, when one might expect customers to be few, the cafe soon filled with fashionably-dressed women, until every seat was taken!
Apparently, a lot of people come from outside of Nagasaki Prefecture, having heard glowing reviews about the cafe. That’s right – this cafe is charming enough that customers make long journeys just to eat here! ☆
And yet, despite the large number of people, there is no hint of noisiness here. I guess the calm atmosphere of the café is part of what makes it so popular ☆
The daily special lunch set is just ￥980, and includes a choice of salad or soup, and a choice of one out of three main dishes.
Today’s main dishes:
Main dish #1: Chicken & Fried Aubergine (Eggplant) Coconut Milk Curry
The sweetness of the coconut milk is perfectly balanced by the zingy spiciness of the jalapeno pepper. This original curry also features the unique fragrance of coriander (cilantro) which is sure to get you hooked! ☆
This one is definitely my favourite!!
Main dish #2: Chicken Soup Rice
This light dish features komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) cooked in soy sauce and plenty of other flavourful toppings ☆
The thick chicken soup and gentle flavour of this rice dish make it a sure hit with female customers.
Main dish #3: White Fish Fritto with Seasonal Vegetables
A bittersweet sauce made with capers and mustard gives this dish a distinct moreish flavour which matches cleanly with the crisply-fried white fish ☆
After eating, I ventured upstairs, where I found some hammocks!
This room is home to a very relaxed-feeling exhibition sale of these gently swaying hammocks.
I sat down in the hammock and started to swing gently to and fro. Almost immediately I felt drowsy and soon fell into a doze…
Ah… what a perfect afternoon! I’m in heaven… zzz…
When you visit Hasami, after you’ve picked up some ceramic wares to take home, why not stop by ‘monne legui mooks’ and pass a leisurely afternoon in this relaxing space?
monne legui mooks
Address: 2187-4 Iseki-go, Hasami-cho, Higashisonogi-gun
Opening times: 12:00 – 22:00
Closed: Tuesday and Wednesdays