Sailing down the escalator to the basement of Fukuoka’s Vioro building was a homecoming of sorts. Apart from struggling through my legal theory readings at its Starbucks outlet, I’d be at Cafe & Books Bibliotheque once a month without fail, eagerly anticipating their monthly pancake special with my pancake friend Carly. So half out of sentiment, and the other because this place really does pretty fantastic desserts, I had to squeeze in a visit during my recent trip back.
First things first – they’ve really improved on their iced latte! It used to be awfully watery and unpalatable but it’s rather robust now, with a good balance of milk. Also, I tried their savoury pancakes for the first time, ordering an avocado and prawn salad alongside the monthly special of “Kyushu seasonal fruit”. There’s something about their pancakes, nicely crisped on the outside and so fluffy on the inside! I especially loved the sliced almonds baked into the bottom of the savoury pancakes which added a delightful crunch. The savoury pancake batter is also noticeably less sweet than that of the dessert pancakes, and acts as a hearty base for the very tasty mayonnaise-tossed prawn and avocado salad.
The seasonal pancakes came with a honey and pistachio syrup dressing, catering to the classical Japanese sweet tooth. It might have been a little overpowering with the sweet musk melon chunks that decorated the pancake stack, but you can choose the amount of syrup you wish to pour over the pancakes, so that remedies it. But what I really love about this cafe is how innovative they are with their desserts – new on the menu is a cro-choux, or a cross between a croissant and choux pastry which results in a confectionary boasting a crisp choux covering, only supported by the many flaky layers typical of a croissant. These are then stuffed with different flavour combinations. Sounds amazing, right??? I only wish I’d ordered it, but the pancakes just really called to me. Always need more time when I’m back in Fukuoka.
Cafe & Books Bibliotheque
Tenjin2-10-3, Fukuoka Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
TEL 092.752.7443 / OPEN 11:00-23:00
Other outlets are in Tokyo (Yukarocho, Jiyugaoka), Osaka and Kumamoto.