If you are ever looking for cafes to satisfy your matcha crave, Yama Cafe would be the go-to place. Formerly known as Basho Cafe, Yama Cafe is a cozy Japanese cafe, which retained almost the same menu and atmosphere from before. It serves breakfast and lunch sets, afternoon sweets, and a large selection of beverages. And more importantly, they are ALL gluten-free and made in-house.
I love studying and grabbing a snack or two from here. Though the cafe can get pretty busy, it is never too loud to a point that I would get distracted. I was back again for a media event to discover more on the menu and this cozy cafe itself.
Tuna Tataki Lunch Set
You can add $4 to upgrade to a lunch set, which includes sesonal vegetables, daily soup, Japanese pickles, and one mochi muffin. The tuna tataki is nicely seared, but I found its citrus flavor is slightly overpowering. There are two soup options – mushroom or miso soup. I love the mushroom soup, light and creamy.
My favourite would definitely be the Black Sesame Latte. It has a very strong black sesame flavor. They also added a pinch of kinako (sweet toasted soybean powder) for decoration! It is more on a sweeter side, but I think it is still manageable. Make sure you stir before you drink! Matcha Latte is not super surprising, and it has a hint of the bittersweet from the matcha powder, and that’s how I like it. Chaga Chai Latte would be least favourite one, just because it has a strong cinnamon flavor to it, and I was never a fan of chai latte anyway.
Assorted Afternoon Sweets
You can never miss the sweets from here. The owner serves us with a dessert platter, which got me super excited. On the platter, it includes all the sweets that they serve in house:
- Strawberry Shortcake | $3.75
- Matcha Strawberry Shortcake | $4
- Souffle Cheesecake | $1.25
- Mochi Muffins (Plain, Matcha, Coffee, Houjicha, Chocolate) | $1
- Cookies (Double Chocolate, Matcha Almond, Salt & Sesame) | $0.50
- Matcha Brownie | $2.50
- Taro Phyllo | $2.50
Unfortunately, they do not serve this all-in-one platter at the moment. But it would be definitely be a good idea to set it up as an afternoon tea menu! Compared to my last visit when they first opened, the desserts improved a lot. The mocha muffins now have the chewy texture, and my favourite are the Matcha and Houjicha. The shortcakes are very soft, fluffy, and not too sweet. They are also reasonably priced. I love the Matcha Brownie the most, because you can taste the bittersweet in every single bite. The texture of the brownie is definitely on point.
Overall, I would recommend this place to people who are looking for quiet places to study or the ones who would like hang out in small groups. My personal favourite in this cafe is the Daily Soup, Matcha Brownie, and Black Sesame Latte.
Taste: 3.5/5 • Service: 5/5 • Ambiance: 4.5/5 • Quality-Price: 4/5
ADDRESS: 2007 E Hastings Street, Vancouver, Vancouver, BC V5L 1T9
HOURS: 9AM – 4PM | Mon, Wed to Fri • 11AM – 4PM | Sat to Sun
Disclosure: Media Event