First of all “moningu” is short for morning service (モーニングサービス). But it is definitely not the widely known Christian morning service you guys are probably imagining about. To sum it up, moningu is a special service in Japan where some cafés and restaurants offer drinks, toasts and the like for breakfast at a discounted price or with some freebies if you go at a certain time in the morning. Most of the time, they’ll give you a toast and a hard-boiled egg for free when you order a drink. At some cafés, they even offer all-you-can-eat bread and eggs!
This is the moningu service at Komeda café – order one drink and you get one hard-boiled egg and half a toast for free. For your information, Komeda is a famous chain café which started in Nagoya.
Moningu is normally available from the opening hours of the café or restaurant till near noon.
Whereas it would sosund totally absurd to ask your friends out for breakfast at 9am (imagine saying “Hey! Let’s catch up over breakfast!”), it’s totally acceptable in Japan if you use the phrase “moningu” instead (go figure).
During the weekdays, salaryman would come in for moningu before their work to chill out and read the newspaper. During the weekends, families and friends come to enjoy a chat over moningu. I don’t know about you but gossiping with my girl friends over coffee and fresh yummy toast in a stylish café on a sunny morning is definitely on top of my great-ways-to-start-off-your-day list.
I was totally clueless about moningu until my fourth year in Japan when I moved to Toyohashi which is in Aichi prefecture (bet you guys never heard of Toyohashi or Aichi. Just think of Nagoya). Before then I was in Osaka area for 3 years and not once have I heard of moningu! How have I missed out this awesome culture until now??
After a little bit of research, it turns out this moningu culture is originated from….ba-dum-tss… non other than Toyohashi! There are also rumors that it originated from Ichinomiya which is also in Aichi prefecture. No wonder I have never heard of it during my stay in Osaka area. Come to think of it, there aren’t even that many cafés at all.
As the saying goes “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So if you ever drop by Nagoya, make sure you wake up early to grab your coffee at a trendy café with moningu service. I guarantee you will feel much more energetic and productive for the rest of the day!