Hikari-machi has been getting a boost in recent years due to the new developments going on around the Shinkansen exit side of Hiroshima Station. This once quiet, and somewhat area now has a lively main road full of ramen shops, izakaya (Japanese style pubs), bars and cafes. Chelsea Cafe is a nice cafe-bar serving cheap lunch sets (under ¥700) and is a good choice at night for a wide choice of menu items and drinks, especially for whiskey lovers.
Lunch is available on weekdays and includes the chef special, curry & rice or omuraisu (omlette and rice) for ¥650. The chef’s special was a shrimp and fresh vegetable pasta dish on the day I visited. The noodles were cooked just right and the sauce was delicate and delicious – beautifully done. The price of lunch includes a visit to a small salad and soup station near the bar. It was a rainy day, the sounds of the TV was on and a few local customers popped in for the daily special. In true kissaten style, payment was settled when the order was made, it was kind of a surprise as not many places do it this way. However, as a late-night venue this must be a handy way to prevent anyone from slipping out without paying their bill.
The dinner menu (from 5pm) includes a wide variety of Italian and Japanese dishes to choose from – salads, seafoods, fish, meats, pasta, pizza and sweets. A regular says there is a real nice pub atmosphere in the evening and the owner has a real passion for whiskey. The bar is well stocked with many kinds of spirits, there are also wine and beer options available.
Chelsea has seating for 34 people (includes 8 stools along the counter bar), two of the tables are Japanese style as they are raised up, take your shoes off before stepping up and there is space to put your feet down once you sit under it (hori-gotatsu). Adding privacy, there are sheer curtains separating the dark wooden tables. The decor is a bit of a mish-mash of a Mexican sombrero hats and retro-modern painting, light fixtures and curtains. It has a feel of a modern kissaten (Japanese style mom & pop coffee shop cafe). If you are bothered by smoke, or want to go as a family with small kids, this might not be the place for you as it is a smokers’paradise and it can be pretty smoky even if there is only one person lighting up.
- Monday to Friday: Lunch 11:30-15:00, 17:00-03:00
- Saturday and Sunday: 17:00-03:00
- All major credit cards accepted
- English menu available on request
- No parking area or discounts
- Smokers paradise (no non-smoking areas)
- Reusable chopsticks
- Reservations accepted and set meal and drink plans available (3,000~5,000 for food courses including 2 hours all-you-can-drink plans)
Address: 1F Haimu Building, 1-6-23 Hikari-machi, Higashi-ku, Hiroshima-shi
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