The Keystone Garden is right in front of Reidai Bridge. Relax with a view over looking the stone bridge, river, grass and mountains. (Photo: Yui Yamaguchi)

The Keystone Garden

A beautiful retreat overlooking Reidai Bridge

The Keystone Garden is right in front of Reidai Bridge. Relax with a view over looking the stone bridge, river, grass and mountains. (Photo: Yui Yamaguchi)
Yui Yamaguchi   - 3 min read

My mum’s friend recommended the Keystone Garden which is located just underneath Reidai Bridge. Surrounded by farmland, grass fields and woods, there is not a single shop or house in sight. Finding this secret café & restaurant brought a smile to my face.

Set in a traditional renovated Japanese house, the dark interior is balanced by natural and electric lights, with the decoration evoking a retro yet modern atmosphere. I would raise my hat to them as you can admire the entire length of the Reidai Bridge, framed by the mountains and blue skies from the restaurant’s ceiling to floor windows. When I entered, I was told not to take off my shoes, which is part of their omotenashi hospitality.

Their inventive menu features several signature dishes such as the excellent Oriental Coconut Pudding. The owner and chef, Mr.Kanbe smiled as he recalled the origins of the pudding: “I dined out at a very sophisticated restaurant in India one night. They served pudding for desert and I wondered why they served pudding at such a fine restaurant? However, I was deeply impressed at the taste. I came back the restaurant next day to memorize the flavour and here is my re-creation.” I can attest that this is popular amongst international visitors.

The Keystone Garden serves lunch and features 10 different dishes on its menu. Mr. Kanbe’s philosophy is centred on showcasing raw ingredients, leaving the chef’s ego at the front door and making the most of the fresh produce. It is definitely easier to obtain fresh and healthy ingredients in the countryside with its clean air and water. Being close to the farmers, the local produce remains fresh without artificial preservatives. “I hope people from overseas will experience these luxurious moments in the simplicity of the countryside. We would keep improving our service to satisfy their expectations as well”.

I also tried the Keystone Coke and couldn’t help asking the recipe of the coke which contains cinnamon, cardamom, clove, black pepper, some secret spices and spring water from Misato-cho.

This rarefied countryside café & restaurant is perfect for a woman who likes to relax with a cup of tea whilst browsing a magazine, or for those who like to enjoy a delicious lunch and recharge from the busyness of their everyday lives.

Yui Yamaguchi

Yui Yamaguchi @iyu.mura

Born & grew up in Kumamoto, Yui studied and worked in Osaka before immigrating to Australia. She lived in Adelaide and Sydney prior to moving to Brisbane. Her passion is reporting on the great things of Kumamoto and Japan to everyone around the world in a serious, interesting and funny way. Her f...