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Every Kamakura speckle-stone shopping streets flashes bright white during a sunny day. You will surely be blinded faster than a Tokyo minute in this light – Blind, but not lost. All is well, as you only need your mouth and an unperturbed palette for the cafe Caraway.

The Kamakura cafe Caraway serves delicious house condiments over curry rice behind its unassuming exterior

Caraway cafe serves rich Japanese curry, inside its deceptive building. The cafe is a watercolor subject. Its mottled brick and tile is a recreation of the English arts and crafts movement. With plaster beige, it’s an interpretation common among Japanese kissaten (cafe – but more aptly, a smoky den for raspy-voiced octogenarians). Unlike other such fronts, this countryside frolic does not take that misstep into a haze of tobacco.

Art over curry rice, pieces setting a pleasant cafe mood, Kamakura

Craving curry on a Wednesday afternoon, you have an ideal Caraway cafe visit. Only a small crowd, the tourists that came to feast seemed more inclined for dinner over a novel rather than a blast through Tokyo. The cafe makes a novel scene for the pastime. The boards of the wall and table are lacquered darkly. Hanging lampshades are aged amber glass, time-blemished yet shining bright cones upon each table. In my booth and elsewhere, framed sketches drawn by Kamakura artists hung evenly. Faint script lists each price, but too small to discern peaking up from a bleary-eyed read. If you’re not reading, seeing the food will make you bleary-eyed with hunger.

 

The menu at Caraway cafe includes a curry selection, with alternatives in serving based on rice portions – the normal portion contains 550 grams while the smaller dishing contains 300 grams. The miniature menu belies the substantial serving – a small laminate card displaying small prices. The chicken curry – my order – was cheapest at ¥660.

Great fig condiment for Caraway cafe house curry, Kamakura

The cafe stylings are aged but not jaundiced by tobacco like a would-be quaint kissaten. Not only the furniture, but the tableware. The curry is served thick inside stainless steel gravy boats, sized fit for a main morsel. Condiments are contained in glass without lids. Instead, they are covered by another stainless steel contraption that snaps back with the satisfaction of a mason jar lid. Gelatinously jiggling inside one of the four cubes is the house’s signature topping.

Caraway cafe house curry rice serving, Kamakura

A usual Japanese curry dish contains a simple mound of white rice. Caraway Cafe’s mounds are conspicuously specked with 3 raisins, and their sweet flesh isn’t the only incongruous ingredient. In one condiment glass is a fig jam, with sumptuous flesh textured with true fig chewiness. Fig is grown locally, and gifts cafe Caraway a little Kamakura draw. I slathered the fig jam on, then spooned out a gravy glob of curry. Douse-drowned with Cafe Caraway’s specialties, the curry rice went one bite at a time.

Cafe Caraway Access:

Take the JR Yokosuka line from JR Tokyo station, then get off at JR Kamakura station.  The journey costs 920 Yen.

From Kamakura’s east exit, walk 5 minutes until Cafe Caraway.

    
Name Caraway Cafe
Category Restaurant
Address 248-0006 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Komachi, 2−12−20
Access [map]248-0006 Kanagawa Prefecture, Kamakura, Komachi, 2−12−20[/map]
Opening Hours 11:30-20:00(Last order at 19:30)
Price Range Up to 1000 Yen
Payment options Cash
Ethan Cookman

Ethan Cookman

I've had a lot of time to think about my biography. About 25 years. I've also done things like study at university - Hofstra University and Kwansei Gakuin University. When I was a teacher at a children's school in Okayama (Japan), I didn't have so much time to think about my biography. So now I'm in Tokyo, writing my biography. I've been living in Japan for a year and a half, and enjoy puns, music, and sights (both insight and outside).

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