Oak Omotesando building is located just a step away from the A1 exit of Omotesando subway station in Tokyo, where the Hanae Mori building used to be. It’s new, classy and modern, projecting a cool image with glass walls.
The newly opened Emporio Armani Caffe is on the first floor of this building adjacent to the brand’s apparel store and is quite an ideal spot to enjoy people-watching on one the most stylish streets in the world. There’s a high possibility that someone you know may walk pass by, including someone you’ve seen in movies, so best that you be dressed nicely if you want to sit at the corner table on the street side.
Just to make it clear, it’s a cafe, not a restaurant. Nonetheless, the menu is abundant for a cafe, especially considering their original concept being “a place for the shopper’s attendants to wait around.” For that concept, the menu is quite impressive - appetizers, sliced raw fish, salads, sandwiches, desserts, and a large beverage selection (they have all liquors, except for sake). If you are going for dinner, be aware that they don’t serve big portions nor hot dishes. I personally recommend you go for the Appertivo prior to your dinner (choice of three or five appetizers and your choice of beverage which includes a glass of Ca Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige NV). It’s a no-miss bar to take your date to for pre-dinner drinks partnered with healthy hors d’oeuvre (smoked salmon with avocado, mixed cheese platter, Caprese, etc, all of which are nibble quantity). There are flowers, Armani Casa interdecor and chic plates of wonder. But even if you step inside just for a coffee break, try their signature Armani cafe (espresso cream chocolate).
Meanwhile, you should try the Panini on a different occasion. They’re filling and come with a colorful salad and Sicilian bell pepper almond paste on the side. From the three selections, I tried “Tomato Ciabatta filled with Buffalo Mozzarella, olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes and rocket” (1,950 yen). The bread is very well toasted, crispy on the outside, springy in the inside. The olive tapenade and the sun-dried tomatoes are flavorsome, so you’ll ultimately want to order a glass of wine. Eat it while it’s hot, because the mozzarella is exquisite – it stretches like rubber. All the favor blended pleasantly in my mouth and it was quite refreshing to sip their recommended syrupy Chardonnay (Garda Chardonnay Meridano Ricci, 2011). During lunch hour, you get an appetizer with the Panini for almost the same price (2,000 yen).
After experiencing the service, I was reminded of a traditional saying in Japanese—“Hana yori dango”—which means to take the practical over aesthetic. It literally means sweets over flowers. But “dango” can also mean boys. So in this case, you could think of it as “boys over flowers.” Ladies will be delighted at the sight of good-looking boys in Armani suits shaking cocktails and waiting on tables. This cafe represents contemporary Japan where women can get just about anything they want these days. Not just service and communication with handsome boys, but delicious food and exquisite desserts. So in which case, it’s “boys, flowers and sweets.”
Emporio Armani Caffe
Opened 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (last order) . No scheduled holidays
A la carte 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., coffee break 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Appertivo 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Right by Omotesando subway station exit A1