Sunday, 2 March 2008

What's become of Imagine Cafe in Harborne?

Have you ever heard about Imagine Cafe in Harborne?

Imagine Cafe in Harborne

It was pretty famous among those who love Japanese food. It is a traditional English cafe, but in the evening it used to serve Japanese food.

I have never been here in person, but I have heard about it from many Japanese friends, including those who worked there. According to what I heard, it is owned by a Japanese husband and English wife team, and before the opening of Mt. Fuji in Bullring, it was the only place in Birmingham where you could eat authentic Japanese food, cooked by Japanese cooks.

At certain point in last year, however, it increased the price of evening Japanese menu, and not long after that, I heard that they stopped opening for the evening as Japanese restaurant.

When I happened to pass in front of it, I tried to see what happened.

I saw, first of all, that the opening hours are reduced to from 9-4, short even for a traditional cafe. I would guess they want to open only the hours the staff does not need change of shifts.

Then the menu. It still serves some Japanese-ish stuff, but it contains only, Yaki-soba, Shio-Yakisoba, Yaki-udon (these are all varieties of stir-fried noodles), with meat/pranws (£5) or with vebetable (£4.50), Kimchi Yaki udon for £5.50, Miso-ramen (Japanese-Chinese style noodle in soup dish) for £5.50, and Kara-age (Japanese style fried chicken) for £3.50.

That's it.

They all can be served from 9 to 3 o'clock. But who order these dishes for lunch? Students? Possibly, but they are usually not in Harborne for lunch time. I am genuinely curious.

It seemed to me a rather sad demise of this once renowned place.

Related Links on WonderBirmingham
Japanese Food in Birmingham