City Country City (Cafe Restaurant), Shimokitazawa

I made a quick reference about "City Country City" in a previous post about the South Indian restaurant "Spice Kitchen Moona" as both joints hold business in the same building. Moona is on the 5th and "CCC" is one floor below.

This cafe/restaurant is owned and managed by Keiichi Sokabe, the leader of the 90s cult indie rock band "Sunny Day Service". The band broke up in 2000 and Keiichi has had a good solo career since, while simultaneously heading the label Rose Records and being a key figure in the indie scene.

His cafe is a hang-out place for his fans, indie kids roaming the streets of Shimokitazawa and people just wanting to chill out.
As per any musician-owned place, few signatures adorn the walls of the cafe (among which my very good buddy Alex From Tokyo's) as well as several hundred used vinyl records from Chicago House to indie Rock, which you can select from the racks and listen to before buying.

The place is overall very charming and clean, with a nice and relaxing feel. They do not blast the music, which is comforting, and a nice smell of incense floats in the air. I love the old upright piano by the window.

You can obviously go there for a cafe, but I went there for lunch the other day. The menu is very simple, with a set comprising of a limited choices of pasta, hot or cold coffee/jasmine tea or apple juice, all for little south of ¥1,000.

I chose the popular Spaghetti Carbonara (egg, grated cheese, bacon and black pepper). If you feel like it, have a quick look at the wiki article on this dish: it seems to be dating from the later half of the 20th century, making it a surprisingly very contemporary recipe. It is interesting to see that "It was first recorded after the war as a Roman dish, when many Italians were eating eggs and bacon supplied by troops from the United States".

The fettuccine used as pasti are quite firm, not to the al dente point though, and are good to chew on. The very delicately crispy bacon and the relatively thick sauce are well balanced in terms of saltiness and combine very well with the pasta.
it might be just a cafe, as well as a used record store, but they do know how to cook a good Carbonara. With a complimentary piece of quickly toasted sliced baguette bread (which I'm not sure is necessary with a plate of noodles), the whole meal cost me ¥950. Not too bad considering the nice service, the chill-out atmosphere and the taste of the food.

City Country City is open everyday from noon to 01:00am. Lunch is served from noon to 16:00pm
Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-12-13, 4F
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