Spurring from a conversation with her girlfriends about the lack of Japanese crepe shops in Brisbane, Tomoko Oka was inspired to open up West End’s very own Crepe Kamon. “Popular Japanese foods like sushi, ramen and gyoza have well and truly landed in Australia, but crepes are still somewhat undiscovered here. So I thought why not bring Japanese crepes to Brisbane? That’s when my obsession with Crepes became a reality. I simply wanted local people to find out about and experience Japanese crepes and it seems to be working!” Oka said.
The name Kamon heralds from a traditional Japanese family crest. Crepe Kamon’s shop logo was assigned to a designer in Japan before being brought to life by local West End artist Ai Shah, who spent three days hand painting the wall logo at the shop. “Also, Kamon of course can be a play on words meaning come on, as I want the shop to be an open and friendly gathering place,” Oka said.
In Japan, crepes are well known as a symbol of youth and street culture. Over a period of many years, traditional French crepes were reinvented as a popular street food in Japan. Many crepe stalls attract people for their vast varieties of colourful and realistic crepe samples on display. Choosing West End for Crepe Kamon’s location was an obvious choice. Oka stumbled across a terrific shop front in Vulture street with an existing kitchen, which she snapped up immediately. “I can’t tell you how much I love this area of the West End. It seems to me to be the perfect cultural melting pot, there always seems to be something happening. The local people here seem very open and interested in new and unique food trends. The shop is surrounded by popular cafes and bars as well as cool music, book and clothes shops, all situated right near the park with the famous piano, it’s more than ideal,” Oka said.
Crepe making is an art form and a huge attraction of the store is that visitors can enjoy watching their order being created in front of them and choose from a diverse range of toppings. Crepe Kamon serves up unique flavours, including red bean paste and custard cream. With the addition of an organic vegetable in front of the shop, fresh herbs and vegetables are incorporated into their salads. Catering for a range of dietary requirements the cafe offers gluten free buckwheat crepes and dairy free vegan ice creams.
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