Peter Sidell

Cafe Dublove, Shinjuku

An inexpensive cafe with a chilled terrace

Peter Sidell
Peter Sidell   - 3 min read

Looking for dinner one summer evening in Shinjuku, I was mooching around the grid of streets to the west of the station, hoping (as usual) to find something tasty and inexpensive. I happened across Cafe Dublove, which has some unhelpful naming issues: it's actually spelt with the phonetic schwa (an upside-down e) where I've put an 'o', and is also seemingly called 'Le Cafe W'. Undaunted, I went inside and snagged a table at the small terrace overlooking the street, and enjoyed a pleasant, unhurried meal.

I'd certainly recommend a terrace table in warmer weather because first, people-watching is fun (especially in Shinjuku) and second, the interior is a bit lacking in atmosphere. It's pleasant enough, with soothing neutral tones and unintrusive soft piano jazz, but I think it would benefit from a few more splashes of colour in the decor, maybe a mural or some brighter posters or prints.

As for my dinner, I started with a half-size dish of olives from the antipasto menu; these weren't numerous, but were good and piquant, so by the time I'd got the flesh off the stones my palate was well awake. After that, I had the house 'Aurora' spaghetti, with a smooth and tasty tomato cream sauce and chunks of juicy bacon.

The main courses on the menu are largely of Italian extraction; there are pasta dishes with a variety of sauces (bacon, cream, garlic) costing between ¥800 and ¥1400, and pizzas such as salmon and mushroom, margherita and four cheese from ¥1100 to ¥1500. Soft drinks and cocktails roll in at around ¥500 or ¥600: as well as the usual array, you'll find some herb teas, Vienna coffee, tasty-sounding (but non-alcoholic) raspberry or mango mojitos, ginger milk and mango juice. Wine is ¥400 for a glass or, if you want to make a night of it, between ¥2400 and ¥3400 for a bottle.

By way of dessert, there's a display case at the entrance with a selection of cakes at around ¥500 and ¥600, such as berry mousse, New York cheesecake and pumpkin pudding. You can turn these into a 'cake set' (that is, have a drink too) for an extra ¥150 or ¥300, depending on which drink you choose.

So I got what I was looking for! If you're in Shinjuku and want a reasonably priced, tasty and filling dinner in mellow surroundings, then it's worth looking up Cafe Dublove.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.