Whenever my boyfriend takes work trips to Europe, he likes to zero in on food from other countries—Surinamese restaurants in Denmark, Korean fare in Istanbul. I can relate: there is something alluring about dining beyond the national cuisine, especially when you're in a foreign setting. Some of the best Indian food I've ever had was in Greece. So, when I heard about Sajilo, a Nepalese cafe in Tokyo, I had to bookmark it for a future visit.
Here, the combination is what intrigues me: exotic fare paired with the creative use of antiques in a small space—seven square meters to be exact. Neel, the owner of Sajilo, visited Nepal in the fall of 2007 and decided to bring the country's cooking and homey design with him. Visit Sajilo Cafe in the Kichijōji neighborhood of Musashino, Tokyo.
Above L: Antique stamps serve as one of the cafe's signs in the entry. Above R: Tiny succulents thrive in a galvanized steel hanging planter.
Above: Does anyone know where to source outsize glass canisters like these?
Above L and R: Set off by dark grout, orderly square tiles contrast with a rustic wooden counter and mismatching chairs and lights.
Above L: An antique filing system at the front of the restaurant. Above R: Owner Neel created a system to keep track of orders with numbered polished rocks.
Above: An open cupboard above each table holds napkins and cups. Photograph via Fatale.
Above L and R: A vintage fan pairs well with wirework baskets.
Above L: In the bathroom, a homemade sink with a ceramic basin. Above R: A kitchen spigot.
Above L: A vintage desk lamp and overhead lights led a homey touch. R: A copper funnel light and rustic tableware.
Above L: Indoor parking at Sajilo. Above R: Industrial chairs for waiting customers.
Location of Sajilo Cafe in Tokyo:
We get some of our best home design ideas from restaurants and cafes pulled together on a budget. See our collection of Restaurant Visits.