It was around 10:45 when I got to Maison de Croissant and by that time I had already logged over 11,000 steps on my pedometer. I was more than ready to have my first meal of the day as well as my first meal in Hiroshima.
Croissant Ichiba (クロワッサン市場), is a vegan, organic and eco-friendly market with an attached macrobiotic café with seating for 10~15 people in the front section. The grocery section had tons of fresh produce, food stuffs, and toward the back to-go options like boxed lunches and rice balls. There is also healthy baby food, vegan meats, organic and locally grown vegetables and other products like brown rice, imported organic products like jams, cookies and more.
Although the dishes in the macrobiotic lunch set change slightly each day, the lunch set consisted of miso soup with brown rice, and lotus root balls with mushroom sauce. That was the first time I’d ever eaten lotus root balls. (Yum!) Each of the different side dishes had a unique and delicious taste.
The macrobiotic lunches are made without meat, fish, sugar, or dairy products. The quantity didn’t look like much compared to western serving sizes, but it filled me up. Unfortunately, they did not offer dessert. I would’ve been up for a slice of some homemade sweetness. The store sells lots of snacks though to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and the menu changes weekly. The menu is simple (only one set lunch per day), but unfortunately they don’t offer an English menu. Out of curiosity I asked the cashier, who was also the waitress, if a non-Japanese speaking customer came in would they be able help him/her out. She said none of the employees could speak English and explaining the menu would be hard, but they’d give it their best shot. So, if you can’t find a Japanese speaker to go with you, don’t be intimidated. Get someone to write out some key phrases you might want to say, like “I’m allergic to…” Also, remember to use gestures and drawing pictures which always helps. The staff here were quite friendly and helpful, I'm sure you wouldn't have a problem.
By the time I was leaving a few more customers had come in for a meal. Rested and refueled, I was ready to take on the second half of my first day in Hiroshima.