This morning I was on a quest. . . . a quest for pancakes. Usually this quest points me in the direction of the nearest konbini or grocery store to pick up a package of pancakes mix but today it led me to a part of Okinawa often refereed to as Hamby Town. What drew me to Hamby Town was a not so little chain known as Climax Coffee.
The best way to describe Climax Coffee is a spin off gone right. This coffee shop/restaurant/cafe has the feel of a Starbucks or Tully’s with slash of originality and a light dusting of Japanese flare.
As one might expect from a coffee shop Climax Coffee has an assortment of coffee drinks as well as non coffee drinks which we have come to expect ¥500 a cup places to carry. Options include classic espresso, espresso based coffees, chocolate drinks, espresso tea, espresso tea lattes, tea lattes, milk, tropical fruit juices, tropical fruit soda and shakes.
Most of the coffee drinks are served either cold or hot and come in regular or medium. Other options such as tropical fruit juice only come in regular size and the Italian Fruit Soda is only available in medium.
Today I went for one of my favorite types of lattes in Japan, the Green Tea Latte. The latte was very good although I wouldn’t recommend running out and ordering it unless you know that a strong green tea flavor is right for you.
Surprisingly there is quite the extensive menu of food options offered at Climax Coffee. Options include spaghetti, curry rice, hamburgers, panini sandwiches soups, fries and salad. The menu also includes various plates which feature chicken with various sides. Of course not all food items are available at all times of day. Lunch menu, for example, starts at around 11:30 if I remember correctly.
Seeing as we were at Climax Coffee bright and early it was all about the pancakes. After all I was on a quest! The number of pancake options at this place is absolutely unbelievable. Those who are undeceive beware because you’ve got to choose between milky macadamia, mixed berry, banana chocolate, mango, green tea with kuromitsu syrup or plane. . . . . and that’s just the regular menu. Once you’ve picked the type of pancake you want it’s time to choose the size. Most styles of pancakes come with three options (regular, medium and small) and are served with just the right amount of toppings and whipped cream.
Keeping with the Japanese theme I chose the Green Tea Pancake with Kuromitsu Syrup. Russ went for the more American style Cinnamon Apple Pancakes also in size medium.
The pancakes themselves were absolutely delicious made fresh and drizzled with just enough syrup. The whipped cream was also actually heavy cream not the whipped topping that you might expect.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:
Overall the experience was a great one but for those of you who still may be unsure let’s go through the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good is that this place not only has good coffee and a wide selection (including seasonal flavors) but also a pretty great menu. It’s also earning some more “Good” points for it’s wide selection of breakfast options. There aren’t many pancake houses here on the island which offer such a wide selection and at such a great price. That brings us to our next “Good” . . . pricing. Although the coffee is just as pricy at any other coffee shop around you can’t beat pancakes for under ¥500 yen.
Now for The Bad I really don’t have anything to say about the food, at least the breakfast options. The biggest “bad” that I can can honestly say (and I realize that this is a stretch) is the location. This is not one of those places you’ll drive by unless you happen to be going down this particular road. Another unfortunate “bad” is that there is seemingly not any parking. In actuality the parking is on the next road over which you might not see if you’re visiting in the middle of the day when other parking lots are full.
The Ugly is the parking lot itself. The lot, located on the street behind the entrance to Climax Coffee, is a dirt lot. Sure it might not be a big deal for some but you might want to consider this once rainy season rolls around or if you (like me) are particular about your vehicle.
Everything Else You Need To Know:
Climax Coffee in Hamby Town opens at 0800 although different locations have different operating hours so check out their website for detailed information. They take dollars, yen and credit card as well. The staff is incredibly friendly and are happy to work with English speaking customers. There is also an English menu available! There are some options for kids and with the various sizes your kiddles shouldn’t have a problem enjoying themselves. I did not, however, see any booster seats so this might be something to consider.
Over all I say go over to Climax Coffee and give them a shot!
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