Jessica McMillan is a Brisbanite, Japanophile and coffee addict. She runs her own website, jessicamaryrose.com and is rarely without her Olympus OM-D EM10.
Published August 27th 2016
When you wanta to a-taste ze Italiano in-na Nippon
Japanese people love ice cream. Meiji has Super Cup. Cafe displays are lined with parfait models and every sensible minded schoolchild can be seen burying their nose in a "soft cream" from the convenience store when classes are finished. You can get ice cream anywhere, but Caffe Latte is something different.
Nestled in a small store on Shijo Street, Caffe Latte is unassuming from the outside but come twelve pm on a spring or summer day there will be a line out the door, alerting passers-by that whatever people are waiting for is worth it. Caffe Latte stocks homemade ice cream and gelato in a variety of flavours on rotation, and the delectable offerings are served in either a cone or a chilled glass.
Eddi and his wife own the store. I was surprised when I first spoke to him and heard a distinct Aussie twang underneath the Italian. Eddi was born in New South Wales and bounced back and forth between Australia and Italy when he was young. He didn't grow up dreaming of making gelato, so what brought it on?
"A midlife crisis." The man chuckled after I asked him.
And thank God he chose gelato instead of a motorbike or an extreme sports experience. Eddi and his wife make the goods themselves with the equipment out the back, and staples like chocolate, lemon and pistachio flavours are always in supply. Don't feel bad if you don't want to share. I'm not exaggerating when I say Caffe Latte's gelato was the smoothest I had ever eaten in Japan.
Caffe Latte is on Shijo Street in Saiin. It looks Japanese on the outside, Australian on the inside and tastes all Italian. Grazie.