By Laura Welch
Archived contentLast updated: Jul 21, 2019
I have visited and reviewed many cafes in Sendai, and they each have their own personality. Of course, there are rough categories you can put each one in, but it’s their uniqueness that I enjoy.
Green Planet shares several similarities with places like Café Saji and Ohisamaya, but it has a wider menu and a more central location than the former, and longer opening hours than the latter. Green Planet offers a vegetarian-friendly menu in a relatively small café that is cosy rather than cramped. The plants decorating the store mirror its ethos of organic farming and healthy meals; it’s a very aptly named café.
It seems to be fairly unknown - I was introduced to it by a friend – which on the one hand is a shame, but on the other means no waiting for a table and relaxing in a lovely atmosphere. We were sat immediately and soon got down to perusing the menu. It’s all in Japanese, and a somewhat roughly hand-written one at that, which may be a challenge for some. However, I do have a recommendation, which was my choice – the Lunch Plate. This is one of the vegetarian options (not all of the meals are vegetarian, but there are enough that it feels like you have a choice.) At 1200 yen, it’s a bit more than you might expect to spend on lunch, but it was filling, fresh and delicious, so it felt like good value for money. It even comes with dessert. The exact ingredients change weekly to keep everything seasonal and fresh. Mine had a dessert of tofu purin and an okara muffin. Okara, also known as soybean meal, is a by-product left over from making soy milk and tofu which contains protein, fibre, and calcium. It’s very versatile and makes very nice muffins (and feels healthier, although I don’t know if it actually is!). It was also in a salad in the main part of the meal.
The Lunch Plate is limited to 10 orders per day, but I had no problem getting one when I went in on a Sunday after 1 pm. My friend had a less voluminous meal which was essentially tempura vegetables with rice and salad. We ate leisurely in the calm of the café before wandering off back into the city centre.
In some respects, the café is a little out of the way, which is perhaps why it seems so quiet. However, it’s only a few minutes’ walk from Fujisaki department store and an astonishing 1-minute walk from Omachinishi Park subway station on the East-West line. It’s also not far from the Loople stop for Bansuisodo.
Whether you’re nearby or on the tourist trail, why not stop by for some lunch (which runs until 14:30 during the week) or some tea and cake during café time (until 16:30)? Evening meals run from 16:30 until closing time, with a slightly changed lunch menu including offerings of pasta, salads, and curry. This small café has more to offer than just healthy meals, and it’s closer than you might think.