Osaka was commonly referred to as the ‘Nation’s Kitchen” during the Edo period as it was the merchant city for rice trade and other goods. In more recent times Osaka is also known for its night life, quirkiness and relaxed attitude that is also evident in the local cuisine.
The colourful and inviting exterior of Le Coccole immediately makes it feel like a cafe for the locals. While it is not designed to bring in tourists it does what it believes in and has faith that customers will too. Walking through the greenery and undercover outdoor area you are confronted with pastel pink walls and an open patchwork tiled kitchen. It is calming to say the least.
Lunch service runs from 11:30 - 2:00 pm and includes three satisfying options including a Vegetable Plate, Indian Vegetables Curry and Tomato / Vegetable Risotto, all of which include the vegetable soup of the day. By having a few options on the menu you can make your decision quickly and know that the ingredients are fresh as less options equals less pre-prepared food.
The owners take pride in their food and explained every element and ingredient of the Vegetable Plate to me. There was a shredded cabbage and sweet potato pickle, zucchini eggplant and coriander hot pot, brown rice, fresh lettuce and a taro root casserole with a hint of ginger.
As I sat back to digest the food and surroundings I noticed that soulful jazz had been playing the entire time adding to the ambience, I must have been too hungry to notice.
The dinner menu has more options and differs slightly based on what is in season at that time. As the owner explained to me, Le Coccole puts an emphasis on locally sourced organic produce and tea, most of which comes from the owner's brother in Nara. You can taste the difference in the vegetables and feel it later as you bounce back into Osaka ready to soak up more of the city.
The business aims to help Mother Nature regain her strength via environmentally friendly practices and hopes that people will laugh and have a happy and healthy life.They sound like solid goals to me.