An Unassuming Spirit: Shiba Café, Kaohsiung 喜八珈琲店
Located a three-minute walk away from Formosa Boulevard Station, Shiba Café is housed within a 38-year-old building with a façade of glazed forest green ceramic tiles.
The ‘shop manager’ is Hanchi, a shiba doggie, with a distinctive fox-like face. “Initially we just wanted a space that is rustic,” says Tuba Chang, 38, who runs a design firm. “The shiba breed, which is known for being good natured, became the visual representation of that.”
Four years ago, most breakfast places in Kaohsiung specialised in western dishes, so Chang decided to experiment with his favourite Japanese recipes instead. A mix of local and koshihikari rice are used for rice balls, which may be stuffed with salmon and yuzu, or topped with mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and cheese, before being baked.
sending out their signature hot cakes
Or have your brown rice topped with rice puffs, bonito flakes, nori seaweed, pickled plum, and shiso sauce, before being poured over with a savoury plum and kombu broth. In the shop you’ll find capsule toys of the breed, collected by the employees over time.
“We have installed vending machines in our shop too, so guests can try their luck,” says Chang. As he started out without any food and beverage experience, he’d met many challenges along the way. “Despite it all, I hope we can continue showcasing our ideas about living spaces through this café.”
black currant orange soda
Adapted from the Sep Oct 18
issue of Cuisine & Wine Asia.