By Jeremy Yap
Vegetarian food is something of a rarity here in Tokyo, where most residents would supplement their greens with fish, pork, chicken or beef. Additionally with the plethora of Ramen stores, sushi and yakitori chicken skewer joints coupled with the fast food giants of McDonalds and Lotteria, you can be forgiven from wondering if Tokyo has any vegetarian restaurants at all. Well, fortunately they do!
From Hand to Mouth, as the name suggests is a restaurant that prides itself of sourcing organic vegetables from the farms around Japan and serving it up to health conscious, vegetarian customers. From Hand to Mouth is located just a short walk from Waseda University and with its proximity to a huge student population, rest assure that prices here are affordable (800 Yen and up), even though the food is all organic. Now how´s that for a change?
Before even entering the restaurant, you begin to conceive the notion that the food here is definitely green from the leaf covered exterior and the little wooden charms that are scattered around. On entering the restaurant, you feel like you are in a wooden hut tucked away in the forest, with soft glows of light landing delicately on the wooden tables and chairs. There are also paintings along the wall, giving the eatery a really homely feel, especially with cushions scattered around. There is even a computer for you to use while you wait for your order to be served.
I entered the ´private´ dining area which is actually a small little room tucked away at the corner of the restaurant and separated from the main hallway by a beige colored curtain. For my food of choice, I chose the vegetarian curry whereas my friend opted for the mushroom crepe, one of the many healthy crepes that are offered here.
The curry I got was delightful with a healthy portion of beans and salad on the side. The curry was sweet, just like regular Japanese curries but instead of meat, there were just beans. It was weird at first to get used to eating bean curry but after awhile, I started to enjoy it. The vegetables on the salad were crunchy, fresh and green.
The crepes on the other hand were topped with strings of mayonnaise and in it, thick portions of Shitake mushrooms together with luscious green lettuce. It scored a ten out of ten for me, being not too salty with just the right amount of Mayonnaise to enhance the flavor of the crepe.
From Hand to Mouth definitely ranks as one of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo and to top it off, they have free WiFi. So munch away on your organic crepe while you catch up with your friends and family on Facebook. Now, isn´t that great?
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Experiences, Experiences Experiences! or if you like, Experencia, Experencia, Experencia! The only thing I seek for while traveling is to gain experiences. Why? Well, travelling provides us with the platform to learn, and the more people you meet, the more you understand the underbelly of the country. The more local food that you eat, the more you understand their culinary delights. The more time you spend in a country, the more you become a local. In the end, you learn and that`s what I`m seeking for. To learn and to grow, and to share it with you:)