Sunday, March 30, 2014

Artnia

In addition to being a tea enthusiast (geek), I am a also a game enthusiast (geek).  My schedule doesn't allow much time to play, but it is something I enjoy during rare moments of down-time.  RPGs are my favorite genre and Square Enix has produced some of my all-time favorite games (Final Fantasy VII).  I've had the pleasure of visiting the original Square Enix Store (with life-size Sephiroth embedded in the floor) in West Shinjuku on more than one occasion.  When I heard that they had moved the store and had introduced a cafe (with tea!), I couldn't resist the opportunity to mix two of my not-so-guilty pleasures.


Square Enix headquarters is located in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building.  The most direct access can be made by taking the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line or Toei Oedo Line to Higashi Shinjuku Station, entering the Square grounds from Exit A3.  From the large lower-level courtyard, take the stairs with the metal creature armor statue to the right and follow the path at the top to the right.  Artnia will be just around the corner.



Artnia got its name from an amalgamation of Art, Area, and Near as it is meant to be a bridge between the customer and the company.  The modern egg shaped building houses a cafe, goods shop, and luxury goods display.


The goods shop is only slightly smaller than its predecessor and the luxury goods display seems to carry a similar amount of jewelry, perfume, and figures.  I was disappointed to find that Sephiroth did not make the move.


The cafe is bright and white, giving it a refreshing, clean, and modern ambiance.  At the time of my visit, they offered an Afternoon Tea set, which I could not resist.  The set is intended for two people.  Since they won't cut the portion or price for solo guests like myself (standard practice for many tea rooms) and I can't self-replicate, I received the full set for the full price.  A lesson I learned during my earliest visit to Japan is that they will insist on giving you every part of your meal set, whether or not it will go to waste.  This means that I did end up with the two drinks that come with the two-person Afternoon Tea set which is how I explain that iced coffee in the photos and not that I was just very, very thirsty.


My tea choice was the Spring Darjeeling (FTGFOP) from Ronnefeldt which was superb.  I was especially pleased to receive a tea timer and a tea bag holder, allowing me to enjoy my meal without worrying about the tea going bitter.


The food included a mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich, a shrimp and avocado sandwich, a spring greens salad with yellow and red peppers, Moogle pancakes served with strawberries, blueberries, and cream, two almond biscotti, two berry macarons, a strawberry cream cake, a chocolate cheese cake, and ice cream.


Everything was fun and tasty and I would definitely look forward to their sandwiches with a cup of tea on future visits.  I am very grateful to have had to opportunity to combine two of my loves, away from home.

Be sure to check Artnia's News page for maintenance closures before planning your visit.  Also, their Japanese menu is more up-to-date than their English menu.

Address:
〒160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿6-27-30 新宿イーストサイドスクエア1F
1F Shinjuku Eastside Square 6-27-30 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
11am-10:00pm (closed on Thursday)

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