It may be sandwiched amongst one of the busiest stretches of the CBD, but stepping into the light-filled space of Hikari on Swanston Street is an instant reprieve from the city bustle.
The name Hikari comes from the Japanese word for ‘light’ which is very accurate considering the bright breezy feel at the CBD cafe; inside the minimally elegant Japanese-inspired cafe, wooden shelves and benches provide a refuge from the noise. Half cafe half retail space for Japanese coffee, glassware, and ceramics the entire venue has an almost gallery-esque feel, everything placed with a meaningful intention which adds to the calm atmosphere.
Coffee is serious business here, and business manager Derek Yang and the Hikari team have worked hard to establish partnerships with several top metropolitan Japanese coffee roasters, including Kurasu and Weekenders in Kyoto and Onibus in Tokyo. Providing a range of options, there’s an almost tea-like execution to their filter brews, with varying single origins coming in from their offshore suppliers, whether it be a Kurasu honey processed Ethiopian or a Guatemalan dark roast from Weekenders.
In addition to the roasts brought in, Hiraki all serve Code Black Coffee on the bar. If coffee isn’t quite your weapon of choice, Hikari also serves up matcha sourced from local farms local to the Kyoto region in southern Japan, as well as a house speciality, Yuzu Spritz.
The retail space is an elegant selection of Japanese ceramic and glasswares including coloured glassware from Kinto, ceramics from Yumiko Iihoshi Porcelain and more, with many on-display used in the cafe to give you the feel of the craftsmanship.
There’s no kitchen at Hikari, the menu offering is a bountiful selection of baked goods that are brought in from pastry specialists, Via Porta, pair one with their filter brew and you’ve got the winning formula.
Image credit: supplied