The Wonders Japanese and Italian Fusion: Shiso Tree Cafe
After learning of a restaurant that fused Italian and Japanese cuisine, I couldn’t wait to try it out with friends and family. High rating, positive reviews, and blog posts that praised it’s dishes led to my eventual visit at the small fascinating restaurant. Shiso Tree Cafe is located in J-Town, which I had not known it existed until recently. J-Town is rather small compared to China Town, but it contains practically everything I could ask for. Across from the cafe is a grocery store which stocks up on products from Japan and although we didn’t visit it -it closed before we finished dinner -I have a feeling most of my fantasized snacks are lined up on their shelves. The cafe had a sign right outside the grocery store and we mistook it as meaning the cafe was located within the store; it was right across from it.
Entering the restaurant, we were greeted with modern and Japanese style decor, nicely spaced tables, and a pretty menu. Impressively, they feature a full page of beverage options and a pretty wide range of coffees and espressos compared to many of the Japanese or Asian restaurants I’ve visited. I ordered the creme brulee coffee which sounded positively rich and wonderful! As an entree, I ordered the Smoked Salmon Rose and it definitely defeated my expectations of the restaurant. The pasta sauce looked cheesy and not light at all, but it tasted very mild compared to its looks -yes, looks can be deceiving. The smoked salmon was a nice touch as it accentuated the nice mild taste of pasta. I thought the fusion was nicely done as Japanese foods tended to be much lighter compared to Italian foods and I appreciate the lightness.
What amazed me in particular is their salad. I don’t enjoy the strong vinegar taste of Japanese salads as much as I would like to. The sourness and sharp taste turns me away every time. Their salad at Shiso Tree Cafe used a different sauce and tasted much more to my liking -I still can’t figure it out! I’ve read a blog post raving about the salad dressing so I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.
It is by far my most favourite fusion restaurant and the pricing is very affordable. I found myself enjoying and relaxing in my chair from the atmosphere itself. The place is nice but not overly formal and not overly informal. I believe it will become a place I’ll frequent more often seeing as it is close to my residence and offers a wonderful menu of Japanese/Italian fusion. I highly recommend anyone who loves either cuisines or both to give this place a try!