Coffee and Curry

Coffee and Curry
Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

I know a place where you can find solace in the simplicity of cheap coffee and mediocre curry for breakfast. It may not be the epitome of luxury, but sometimes all we need is a familiar setting that offers a sense of comfort. Nestled in a remote corner of the city, the Hatago Inn, a humble establishment in its own right exudes the signature atmosphere of a mid-range hotel that provides a discount on its breakfast buffet for online bookings.

The place itself may not be a palace, but it boasts a sense of cleanliness that rivals even the most pristine accommodations. As you step inside, you are greeted by the comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee along with the enticing scent of curry, fish dishes, and citrus wafting from the kitchen. The menu, though not extensive, manages to offer a selection of dishes that are more than satisfactory in taste.

Yet, what struck me as peculiar during my visit was the constant stream of complaints emanating from a pair of self-proclaimed “professional educators,” whose many years of classroom teaching grew a cantankerous cancer in their hearts. It seemed as though their purpose was to find fault in every aspect of their experience—perfect mirror reflection of their recently-wrapped-up year of teaching. Nothing was safe from their relentless critique, from the temperature of the room to the required attendance at the end-of-year staff appreciation banquet the weekend before.

In a world filled with complexities and constant striving after  perfection, it is refreshing to find a place that embraces its simplicity. While some may perceive limitations in the lack of variety, I found comfort in the knowledge that this establishment has honed its craft, focusing on delivering a few dishes done exceptionally well. There is an elegance in simplicity, a beauty in mastering the basics.

Perhaps it is a matter of perspective. When we embark on a post-school year trip or any journey, for that matter, it is important to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to appreciate the nuances of each experience. Instead of fixating on perceived shortcomings, we can choose to find joy in the little things—the steaming cup of coffee warming our hands and hearts, the aromatic spices dancing on our taste buds.

Sometimes, in our pursuit of grandeur, we overlook the charm of the everyday. We forget that it is often the simple pleasures that leave the most lasting impressions. So, the next time you find yourself yearning for a cozy spot to indulge in a comforting, simple breakfast after a deep sleep in a clean room, consider visiting this unassuming hotel in Ōsaka. Embrace the modesty of the surroundings, savor the flavors that, while not be Michelin-star worthy, are delicious in their own right, and appreciate the respite from the constant need for variety.

In a world filled with extravagant options, let’s not forget the value of simplicity. Sometimes, a humble cup of coffee and a plate of satisfying curry and white rice are all we need to find contentment in the midst of our busy lives.