Russell Stradmoor of Omotesando Koffee

Omotesando Koffee is one of Tokyo’s most well known and beloved specialty coffee shops. The original shop – established in 2011 by Eiichi Kunitomo as a pop-up in an old Japanese house in Omotesando – won the hearts of locals and tourists alike with its quality coffee as well as its sleek, minimalist aesthetics. Kunitomo opened a second location in Toranomon Hills in 2014.

After closing the original location last year, Kunitomo partnered with Hong Kong–based brothers Norman and Russell Stradmoor (who also own Vietnamese restaurant Pho Bar) and opened Omotesando Koffee in Wan Chai’s Lee Tung Avenue in mid-May. Kunitomo is preparing for the cafe’s reopening in its original space in Tokyo later this summer, while the Stradmoor brothers oversee the operations in Hong Kong and hope to expand to other cities in Asia.

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How did you become involved with Omotesando Koffee?
Three years ago I went to the original spot in Omotesando for the first time. I was struck by how special it was – there’s no other cafe in the world like it – and I kept going back. On their cups, there is a list of cities. I asked Kunitomo-san why Paris and New York were listed when they didn’t have any presence there. He told me: “That’s the dream.” He wanted to venture from this small local cafe on the backstreets of Omotesando and share his passion for coffee around the world, and I thought, why not start with Hong Kong?

How does the Hong Kong branch differ from the ones in Japan?
The menu is roughly the same as in Tokyo, but we have added exclusive items such as the matcha latte and matcha white chocolate brownie.

What are the Omotesando Koffee signatures?
Our iced cappuccino, as it’s silky, smooth and creamier than others you’ll find. We don’t actually use any cream, but we put it in a blender to make it frothy, and it creates pockets of air within the coffee which gives it that texture. Our iced mochas and hand-drip coffee are also popular.

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What makes the coffees special?
We have two blends called 01 and 02 created in-house. The first is more fitting for espressos as it has a powerful, heavy taste, whereas 02 is milder, fruitier and sweeter. The beans are roasted by Ogawa Coffee in Kyoto Prefecture, and flown over once or twice every month. Our baristas have been heavily trained, and two managers who used to run the Kyoto and Omotesando shops are now here.

What new items can we look forward to?
During the summer we’ll push out a food menu with some Japanese specialty dishes for lunch, and later we’ll work on some alcoholic coffees, like Irish coffee and espresso martinis. We’re also collaborating with whisky brand Hibiki, so that’s something to look forward to.

Omotesando Koffee, shop G24-25, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. See ooo-koffee.com


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