When we are busy trying to define their style, Tokuhiko Kise, the owner of TRUCK Furniture and BIRD Coffee is just “making the things that I want to use”
A few years ago, a mentor introduce me to TRUCK Furniture, I was immediately drawn to their story. Upon reading their book, TRUCK NEST, I really wouldn’t call them designers. They are makers with tremendous taste.
Funded in 1997 in Osaka, 2017 marks their 20th anniversary and this year, I finally visited some may consider the holy land of Japanese furniture.
Its located in a residential area in Osaka. It is not difficult to find but requires a bit a walk from Shinmori Furuichi Subway Station.
The store is at the 2nd floor and 3rd floor. The first floor which was not open to the public is their woodshop. The first thing you notice upon walking into the store is their salesperson are ridiculously well dressed. They are not in uniform but in a same style. No photos was allowed inside the showroom and I was reminded again and again by the many signs that tell you no photos. The space is vast but far from empty. You will find a nice selection of original pieces, their cross brand products and some selected products. I had one of many “shut up and take my money” moments here. From furniture to camping gear to tools, they have everything. I often ask myself, what is a good select shop? what makes a good select shop? I guess the number of items is not the problem as long as they are in the same style. You can feel the sincerity of the owner by looking at his selection. It felt very personal. You feel the owner genuinely love what he have selected not because he selected because he think this will sell.
I must have walk back and forth inside the showroom for more than an hour. I bought an apron with beautifully detailed leather parts, then I move myself to across the street, BIRD Coffee.
Operated by the same owner, again they just wanted to have place for their customer to have a place to sit and have a cup of coffee. I didn’t have high expectation for BIRD Coffee but was I wrong. That is one of the best doughnut and coffee I have every had. The doughnuts were made in small batches in a small doughnut fryer. I ordered the doughnut with custard. When I was presented with the doughnut, I spotted the first good sign of a good custard, little black spots. It means they used real vanilla beans instead of extract. The custard was creamy and rich which perfectly compliment with the light doughnut. It has a texture similar to a fluffy cake and with every bite, the taste of wheat intensifies. Every ingredients were thoughtfully selected including the oil. According to them, the sesame oil they used to fry the doughnuts are resistant to oxidation which makes the doughnuts remain moist and fluffy.
Some may labeled it “hipster” but they have been this way before the word hipster was even around. Trends tend to fade, but TRUCK and BIRD are truly a style that inspired many. Come to see the products but stay for the doughnuts and coffee.
Address: 6-8-48 Shinmori Asahi-ku Osaka 535-0022 JAPAN
Hours: 11:00AM - 7:00PM CLOSE Tuesday, and 1st 3rd Wednesday
Address: 4-1-16 Midori Tsurumi-ku Osaka 538-0054 JAPAN
Hours: LUNCH 11:30AM - 3:00PM / DINNER 6:00PM - 10:30PM / LAST ORDER 9:30PM
CLOSE Tuesday, and 1st 3rd Wednesday