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[Himeji City] Eat deliciously and stay healthy both physically and mentally. Vegan cafe you'll want to visit again and again [SAI CAFE]

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"SAI CAFE" located in Johoku Shinmachi, Himeji City is a vegan cafe that opened in March 2022. The menu was created under the supervision of Chef Katsuzo Kusumoto of the vegan restaurant "Saido" in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, and is based on the concept of "Gourmet Same Source", and is attracting attention no...

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Named with passion in the word “Sai”

There are 8 parking spaces underground<br>
There are 8 parking spaces underground

"SAI CAFE", which opened in April 2023, is one of the few vegan cafes in Himeji. We offer a menu created by Chef Katsuzo Saido of Saido in Jiyugaoka, which holds the title of the world's best vegan restaurant.

The name ``SAI'' is a combination of the vegetable ``na'', the signature menu ``saimen'', Mr. Kusumoto's restaurant ``Saido,'' where he supervised the recipe, and the animal ``sai.'' "Sai" is a Buddhist term that means "meal." We put a lot of thought into the ``meal = Sai'' where many people gather and make everyone smile.

The concept is the same as ``Saido'': ``Gourmet food comes from the same source''. We aim to be a restaurant where you can eat deliciously and feel beautiful both in mind and body.

Manager Eitaro Yano<br>
Manager Eitaro Yano

The reason for opening was 5-6 years ago. The owner of a restaurant in downtown Himeji attended a seminar related to veganism. He learned that although Himeji City has many foreign visitors tourists and residents, there are no vegetarian or vegan restaurants.

First of all, he started offering vegan menus such as Akashi-yaki and mapo tofu at his own restaurant. I felt a positive response there, and decided to open a restaurant with a menu completely designed by Chef Kusumoto.

The interior looks like a foreign cafe<br>
The interior looks like a foreign cafe

The interior of the store is spacious and has a stylish atmosphere. We offer a variety of seating options, including table seats and sofa seats that can be used by groups, as well as long table seats and counter seats that you can comfortably sit on by yourself. There are three clocks on the back wall. There are clocks showing the time here in Himeji, as well as in New York and London, which have a large vegan population.

There are also counter seats with a view of the garden.<br>
There are also counter seats with a view of the garden.
You can relax on the sofa seat<br>
You can relax on the sofa seat

Supervised by a chef with the title of vegan restaurant

3 types of noodle dishes + spice curry<br>
3 types of noodle dishes + spice curry

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"Spice Curry"

This dish is a menu supervised by Chef Katsuzo Kusumoto of Saido in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo. Chef Kusumoto is a leading expert in this field, having been ranked number one in the world on HappyCow, the restaurant information site most used by vegans and vegetarians around the world. We create a vegetable feast without any animal products, refined sugars or umami seasonings.

All of the vegetables used in our dishes are purchased from Tamba Rojibeji, which delivers carefully selected seasonal vegetables made with the care of producers from Tamba and surrounding areas.

Their signature product is the colorful vegan ramen, which is a non-junk food noodle that is low in carbohydrates, has no animal fat, and contains plenty of vegetables. There is also a spice curry made with a soup packed with the flavor of vegetables and several types of spices, including local Himeji lotus root.

Recommended is the lunch "Saisai course"

One of the course menus ``Smoked five-grain bean salad''<br>
One of the course menus ``Smoked five-grain bean salad''

For lunch, we recommend the ``Saisai Course'' (1,850 yen), where you can enjoy the deliciousness of vegan cuisine. For the main dish, you can choose between ramen or curry, and it comes with salad and dessert for an additional 200 yen, making it a great deal.

Let me introduce you to what kind of course it is. First up is the "Smoked five-grain bean salad." When you remove the cork lid, the smoke rises up with the aroma of smoke, and it's a dish that makes you say, "Oh!" This world view is visually outstanding.

Inside is a representation of a small garden, with five-grain beans representing the earth, potato salad mixed with taro, vegan cheese, and green seaweed on top, and a sprout on top. Smoked beans have a unique aroma and a crunchy texture.

“Ginger Miso Saimen” with colorful vegetables<br>
“Ginger Miso Saimen” with colorful vegetables

For the main dish, you can choose between noodles or curry. Domestic powder with different nutrients is mixed into the noodles. ``Ginger noodles'' for people who are concerned about sensitivity to cold, body fat, and metabolism; ``Ashiba noodles'' for people who want to take in beta-carotene, vitamin K, etc.; ``Chlorella noodles'' for people who expect effects on high blood pressure and dedox. You can choose from three types.

The soups also include ``Ginger Miso Saimen'', a warm soup soba with a thick and rich ginger miso soup, ``Abura Soba'', a warm mixed soba with a spicy spicy sauce, and ``Salad cold noodles'' with a cold sauce of taro, rice malt, and black vinegar. There are 3 types of "Tamba Saisai" in the lineup. It's also fun to choose.

Are eggs and Naruto vegetables? !<br>
Are eggs and Naruto vegetables? !

I chose "Ginger Miso Saimen" from "Ginger Noodles". The toppings are seasonal vegetables from Tamba. I understand colorful vegetables such as purple radish and tomatoes, but although they look like boiled eggs, they are not eggs. The ingredients that look like Naruto are not Naruto either.

The material it's made with is a trade secret, but it's fun to play with. The noodles are thick, curly, and very delicious. Now you can eat it without feeling guilty if you are cutting down on sugar.

The ginger-flavored soup is quite rich and goes well with the curly noodles. I'm curious as to why you made the soup stock.

“Tree’s Strawberry Mousse” has a cute visual appearance (500 yen for a single item)<br>
“Tree’s Strawberry Mousse” has a cute visual appearance (500 yen for a single item)

And here is the dessert: Tree's Strawberry Mousse. How adorable! It looks great. The green part is vegan matcha pound cake, the trunk part is pretzels, the earth part is made with almonds and cocoa powder, and the inside is mousse. There are no dairy products used here. Even so, I can't get enough of this play.

Cafe menu is also recommended.

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"Cafe au lait" (650 yen)

In addition to the meal menu, the drinks and sweets menu are also vegan. Animal ingredients such as whipped cream, milk, cream, and yogurt are replaced with soy milk and oats.

The coffee comes from Saku Coffee, a popular home-roasted coffee shop in Rokko, Kobe. This is ``Specialty Coffee'' (500 yen), a special blend for this store. You can choose soy milk or oat milk for ``Cafe au lait''.

“Fresh strawberry gelato parfait” (1,280 yen, seasonal only)<br>
“Fresh strawberry gelato parfait” (1,280 yen, seasonal only)

This is the most popular parfait. I use fresh strawberries, organic granola and berries, and soy milk for the cream. This finish is on par with a normal parfait. I'm also happy that I don't feel guilty.

“Ripe whole melon gelato parfait” 1,980 yen (seasonal only)<br>
“Ripe whole melon gelato parfait” 1,980 yen (seasonal only)

Parfaits change from time to time depending on the season. In the summer, a melon gelato parfait made with luxurious melon will be available. A vegan parfait made with luxurious melon gelato and cream.

“What makes me the happiest is when customers who come once come and bring their friends the next time.It's a great place for both vegans and non-vegans who are looking for a restaurant to come and visit us. I want it,” said Eitaro Yano, the store manager.

The rhinoceros object is also cute.<br>
The rhinoceros object is also cute.

The suitcase of his late father, who loved to travel all over the world, blends seamlessly into the atmosphere of the store, and seems to support the creation of a worldwide store.

Convenient bus access

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"Johoku Koen-mae" bus stop along the prefectural road on the east side of the park

Lastly, regarding access to "SAI CAFE", you can get there by one bus from Himeji Station. There are two nearby bus stops, and the Johoku Koen-mae bus stop is a 6-minute walk from the store, and many of the local buses that pass along the east side of Himeji Castle pass by every 10 minutes. There are also 2 to 3 buses per hour that pass through the Johoku Shinmachi bus stop, which is a 3-minute walk away. If you take the bus from Himeji Castle Otemon-mae bus stop, it will take you directly to Johoku Shinmachi. The fare for both is 220 yen per trip, so you can easily use them.

(Writer Utami)

*This article is information as of July 2023. Prices include tax. Product contents and prices may change.

Access information

Take the Shinki Bus from Himeji Station (north exit) bus stop 7 or 8, get off at the "Johoku Koen-mae" bus stop, and walk for about 6 minutes to reach the cafe. Alternatively, take the Shinki Bus from Himeji Station (north exit) platform 9, get off at the "Johoku Shinmachi" bus stop, and then walk for about 3 minutes.

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basic information

SAI CAFE

Address: 1-1-14 Johoku Shinmachi, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture

Phone number: 079-280-6661

Business hours: 11:00-17:00 (Food LO 16:00, Drinks/Sweets LO 16:30)

Regular holidays: Open every day (*There may be temporary closures, please check on SNS)

Parking lot: 8 spaces

SNS: Instagram

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