Andrew’s world in Japan

87en-_mg_9339_edits-copyAndrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring thcreative process & connecting with other creative people.

Lost In Cash Only Sandwich ~Buy Me Stand~

While the dominant perception is that Japan is the high-tech future, many aspects remain rooted in proven basics. Sadly, I was reminded of this while happening on a door that read ‘GRILLED CHEESE.’ My favorite food group being the grilled cheese sandwich, a classic American icon, trying was a must. I poked my head in the door and asked to see the menu.

87en-_mg_9337_editBefore we go too deep into this random shop styled after 1950’s Miami, I would like to wax on the sandwich briefly. Like many foods perceived American, it didn’t actually originate in the Americas. Legend has it that one John Montagu of the land of Sandwich, devised the masterful way of combining the various meal bits for his convenience to fill his tummy during long hours at the gambling table. A hamburger is basically a sandwich. This combination of items between two slices of bread is a playground for the inventive to explore all kinds of flavor combinations. Like the primary colors, infinite options exist for your pleasure.

An estimate from 2014 is that Americans consumed on average 300 million sandwiches per day. How many are eaten in Japan? Unfortunately for my curious mind, I have not uncovered any valid statistic. Sandwiches, although readily available at any convenience store (on a side note, I was almost daily eating a Natural Lawsons organic sandwich) are not normally the basis for a shop in Japan. Or so I thought. Returning to my future tech yet traditional origins thread of thought, it turns out this location is a hybrid concept shop pairing food and fashion.

My mind blown, I looked over the menu. Tummy growling so loud the attendant looked sideways at me, I knew something was amiss. Concoctions like “Apple Cheeks” camembert, apples, onions and roast pork or “Blue Monday” blue cheese, orange slice, onions and beef had me desperately ready to dive in. Prices ranged from 900 to 1,300 yen, but I was willing to splurge until being informed of their cash only policy. At the time, I had no idea that space also housed a bar where many creatives gathered and a clothing boutique.

87en-_mg_9334_editSure, there was an ATM nearby. Then my friend called, “Andrew, where are you?” Of course, I proceeded to tell him about this brightly colored grilled sandwich shop I walked by on my way from Daikanyama to Shibuya. I don’t remember his reply, but mainly my heart sank. Everywhere I tried to withdrawal cash rejected. He called back at the same time it began to rain. But that time I’d roamed closer to Shibuya and lost sight of my previous mission. A few photos of the buildings nearby sent him straight to my location. Together we found a place that accepted credit cards and I paid his for a cash exchange deal. He became my ATM and the sandwich cheese sons were postponed to another time.