Growing up in rural Kentucky I never got to experience the local cafe culture of Europe and major cities like Chicago, New York or Seattle in the States. It wasn’t until college that I can say that I truly experienced Cafe culture, and upon entering my first Cafe I have to say, I was hooked. There are many days that I get on my knees and thank the maker that Japan, unlike rural Kentucky, has embraced Cafe culture. Situated on almost every street corner, a weary travel is able to find a Japanese Cafe. These Cafe’s are usually filled with a selection of coffees, teas and cakes, and often times never deviate from the standard fare. But, if you are like me, you occasionally want to break away from the cheese cake and cappuccino and try something exotic, what about Belgian Waffles?
And that is where もみの木 (Momi no Ki) comes into the picture. Located about 25 minutes north of Kanazawa in the city of Kahoku (conveniently close to the brand new Kahoku Aeon shopping center), is the Belgian cafe Momi no ki. While this cafe isn’t much to look at from the exterior, what lies inside is pure 100% Belgian waffles. And, why are they authentic? Well, there is an actual Belgian waffle chef cooking them up in the back.
Momi no Ki serves your garden variety of coffees and teas, cappuccinos, latte, americanos and other staples of espresso drinks can be found, but what separates Momi no Ki is their food selection. If you have never had a Belgian waffle, you are in for a treat, as Momi no Ki’s waffles are sweet, yet not too sweet that they over power the toppings. Traditional toppings such as Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and Sugar and Powdered Sugar are available as well as some not so traditional toppings such as Matcha (green tea) and Ichigo (strawberry) sauce. And for those not worried about the calories, you can get some ice cream toppings as well.
Momi no Ki is a great find, and is easily accessible by car (unfortunately not so for people who can’t drive). If you are coming from Kanazawa, head towards the Aeon Kahoku Shopping Mall, and get off at the exit right before it; take a right and go over the train tracks on the 59. Momi no Ki will be on the right hand side soon after the train tracks. If you are coming from the north, when the 159 splits into the 159 and the 59, take the 59 (the secret back rout through Kahoku) until you get close to Aeon, and right before you cross the train tracks you will see Momi no Ki on your left.
Typical fare will cost you somewhere around 300 yen for one waffle, and for those who like their food, you will usually have to order at least 2 waffles to be satisfied. Add to that a coffee of around 300 yen and you can expect a typical lunch/brunch for a thousand yen. A small price to pay for deliciousness. So if you are in the Uchinada, Tsubata, Kahoku Area why not give Momi no Ki a try?
Travis is a fourth-year JET living in Ishikawa.