Friday, 23 May 2008

Restaurant Reviews: Vegan Healing Cafe

After a day of pounding the rainy streets of Tokyo, who doesn't need a little healing right? Well, actually, both Pamela and I didn't have this place down as a first choice on our restaurant schedule but boy, am I glad that we ended up here!
Not only is it the only restaurant in Japan that I know of that has the word "vegan" in it's name but the place is choc full of literature on animal rights and promotes veganism as an ethical lifestyle not just a fashion or health fad. Pamela particularly loved their NO FUR signs and we wondered whether the staff would actually refuse to serve anyone wearing fur?....

The Vegan Healing Cafe is located on a quiet street near to one of the main drag's from Shibuya station. It's a very small place though it was quiet when we arrived. They have a couple of tables outside which I'm sure would be a nice spot for some people watching while you enjoy drinking your black sesame and kinako soy milk!

Anyway, on to the important stuff: the menu!
The menu is small but all delicious sounding. Pamela and I both opted for the tempeh sausage which was served with genmai (brown rice) and a salad as well as some sort of delicious sauce. Our Tokyo friend decided on the felafel burger which, as the same suggests, was a large felafel patty accompanied by the same trimmings as our sausages. All the food was delicous and while it all seemed very healthy, it was also very satisfying! The tempeh sausages were very moist and were very nicely complimented by the sauce. Our main courses were priced at 1000 and 950 yen respectively so also easy on the wallet as well as the stomach and conscience!

Of course, something would have to be seriously amiss if I didn't sample a vegan dessert when presented with that option, haha. As soon as I saw the dessert cooler, I knew the chocolate almond tofu tart (380 yen) had to be mine! Pamela opted for that one too while our friend went for the soy whip cake (480 yen). Since it was an おすすめ (recommended) option, Pam and I added the soy whip on the side for an extra 100 yen.
My verdict? Delicious! All the cakes were delicious! The soy whip cake was light and airy with a refreshing citrus tang and the choc tart was, well, exactly as I expected really - indulgent and filling. Yum. I was extremely satisfied after this meal.

Perhaps best of all, since this restaurant is truly vegan in the ethical sense, we knew that none of our money was going towards the purchase of any nasty cow juice or chicken mentstrual waste products. They also had a lot of vegan cookbooks including Soy Not Oi! which I have been wanting to peruse for a long time! Oh and they also have some cool grafitti out the front which I appreciated, haha.

Anyway, if you ever find yourself tired and growing increasingly angry with the Shibuya crowds, head to The Vegan Healing Cafe for some moral and gastronomic refreshment!

-- Sarah

I hope they ban meat eaters. Can you imagine..."Excuse me ma'am. Could you leave the former animal that died a slow painful death so you could wear it, at the door? kthx."

Sarah and my tempeh sausages. I forgot to get a picture before diving straight into them.MMmmmm.....cake......

While Sarah and I do not support Peta, it's still pretty cool to see the 'Fur is dead' van parked outside the restaurant. I don't know if they are connected to eachother.

And that concludes our Tokyo escapade! I want more!


Restaurant Reviews: Tsubu Tsubu Cafe

Our third stop in Tokyo was Tsubu Tsubu Cafe (-or- ( This is near Ushikagome Station on the Oeda Line. The map is a little hard to understand and we had to ask someone, but we found it. It's located in a neighborhood of mostly houses.

That morning we spent a little too much time at the Apple Store (getting my iPod fixed) and Urban Decay (getting vegan makeup) so we totally missed the lunch time and thus had very limited options that we could order.

There were only two things we could choose from, pizza on naan or a veggie burger. Since Sarah had the burger at Deva Deva she went with the pizza. I have no idea what that sauce was, but it was garlic yuminess.

Our Tokyo BFF and I ordered the veggie burger since we had pizzas at Deva Deva. It used a miso paste for the flavoring and some other things that I couldn't quite place.

The service was a bit lacking. Maybe we just caught them on a bad day, but the girl on the register seemed confused and overwhelmed even though they didn't appear to be busy. The power also went out right after we got there, which was kind of cool because the place makes it's own energy. The whole interior was beautiful as well. I'd like to come back here and actually catch the lunch time. Lunch is from 12 to 2:30 and then cafe time is until 4:30. Upstairs they have a small shop and an office. I think the restaurant is more of a side activity and they actually focus more on producing a vegan magazine of the same name and organizing various events and teaching classes.

It's not a great picture, but you can see the counters, for teaching classes (I presume) and the whole area lining the wall is planters.


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Restaurant Reviews: Eat More Greens

On the last day in Tokyo, we went to Eat More Greens for dinner. It's close to Azabu-juban station, but could easily be walked to from Roppongi.

The restaurant is modeled after a New York eatery.

They also sell seasonal produce out front! Recently, they've also started selling all vegan bread at a case near the register. I had the rosemary and salt focaccia with my dinner and it was delicious! The breads can be taken out, as well.

The inside also resembles a restaurant from back in the states. It was a really cozy atmosphere that, vegan or not, makes you want to come in for a meal.

Ok, onto the food! The menu changes with the season and we were there for the spring menu.

Like I said before, I ordered the focaccia and it came with a side salad. For 400 yen it was definitely worth the benefit it brought to my meal.

I apologize, the lighting inside the restaurant was not so good. I ordered the Genovese pasta with spring cabbage. This was a big portion, which I appreciated, since many of the trendy veggie restaurants I've been to in Japan, tend to give very tiny portions. This was just enough food to feel full, but not ill. The bread was the perfect side to soak up all the extra pesto.

Our friend ordered the taco rice, which I only got a terrible picture of. Our food looked so yummy, we took the pictures in a hurry. Taco rice is a dish, that as far as I know, is from Okinawa. Okinawa has a large American military presence and as such, has many foods that have been influenced from American tastes. So taco rice is like a taco served over rice. I've never seen a vegan version of this anywhere else and so it was my first time having it. She said it tasted just like the original and was very good. I also liked it.

Sarah ordered the coconut curry with seasonal vegetables. Again, I didn't get a good picture. This was also very tasty.

For dessert, I was too full to order anything and they didn't do take out. I wish I'd brought my own container, because it looked amazing, there was just no way I could squeeze anything else in before having to ride a train for 2 hours. The cheesecake is not vegan, which I was very disappointed by because the it looked so good and seemed like it could have easily been vegan. Our friend got that and said it was very good. Sarah got the chocolate cake. And if you heard the noise she made as she put it in her mouth, you'd know it was amazing.

Each of our entrees were 1200 yen, so really not an expensive dinner. Also, there menu is quite big, which is again unusual for a vegan restaurant in Japan. They also have an extensive appetizer menu. Now that it's warming up, you might want to go and sit out on the patio. They open at 11:30 and stay open until 11 at night.


This place was awesome! It a very hip but inviting atmosphere. And seriously, that cake was aaaaammmmaaaaaazing. I almost had an orgasm... almost ;)

Here's some more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

My spring vegetable and coconut curry

The mouth orgasm cake :)

The aftermathThe inviting decor

I would gladly travel back to Tokyo just to go to hang out at this restaurant again. Which is just as well considering that eating here meant that we had to ditch our suitcases at our friend's house so we could catch the shinkansen back to Shiga, haha. Yes, we spent weeks deciding on restaurants to visit but we didn't think to check when our last train home was..... But Eat More Greens was the perfect end to a great weekend.

And remember:

-- Sarah

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Restaurant Reviews: Deva Deva Cafe

Our first restaurant was Deva Deva Cafe. This is in Kichijoji.

It's on the second floor, but has a nice little sign up front to help you find it.

This was Sarah's gigantic avocado burger. Sarah can tell you more about it。

I ordered the Bio sparkling lemonade. It was very refreshing and a perfect match for the gorgeous spring weather we were having. I'm also a total sucker for pizza, so I got the tomato, olive, basil pizza with vegan cheese. The crust was very crispy and a little difficult to pick up and eat with my fingers, but that didn't stop me from inhaling this in seconds. We all felt perfectly full and decided to skip dessert and left feeling refreshed and happy, as opposed to ill and weighted down. I spent about 1700 yen, I believe.

The restaurant was brightly lit from the wall of glass and everything was painted white. I'll definitely make an effort to come here again! There is also a Lush near the station, that sells vegan soaps and body care. On the way to the restaurant we also stopped at Natural House and spent ages oooohhhing and aaawwwwing at the selection of vegetarian food, much of which was too heavy for us to carry home.

Golden Week Part 1

Last week was Golden week, so Sarah and I headed up to Tokyo.

First, we went to the Hoppin & Steppin Showcase
最初、Hoppin & Steppin Showcaseのライブに行った。

It was a great show! My favorite bands of the day were Frail Head Squeeze, Dallax, Moody Rudy, and Cutie Pi ( ;) ). I haven't seen Frail Head Squeeze since September and there show was awesome. Moody Rudy was my first show, but I was quite impressed with them, they put on a good show. Several other bands were good, but I think there were the most notable.
スゴカッタ!私の好きなバンドはFrail Head Squeeze, Dallax, Moody Rudy, Cutie Piです。Frailは7ヶ月ぶり見ていた、めっちゃヤバかった。MoodyRudyって言うバンドは初めて見た、でもすごい感動した、とても盛り上がった。まぁ、他のバンドもだいたい好きだったけど。。。

Since there were 18 bands and the show was all day, we packed lunches to eat at the venue. We ate white bean hummus from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan (, flatbread from Cozy Inside (, couscous, tamari roasted chickpeas also from EDBV, and chopped carrots. We had quite a feast.