“Macrobiotic” is one of those key words to use, when you are on the look out for a restaurant in Japan, whether you are vegan, vegetarian or just love local natural food. Here “macrobiotic” is rather old concept and is seen way more often than foreign words “vegetarian”, “vegan”, “raw” etc., therefore is more popular among Japanese, as a synonym of traditional cooking based on brown rice and local seasonal ingredients.
Seems this place is seriously following and further spreading the “macrobiotic” principles. Time ago I noticed a book in the bookshop by the chef of this kitchen (with introduction to classes, instructions on methods, ingredients and even proper plates). Then wondering around just opened Ohashi traffic junction came for lunch. Particularly impressive was the grocery shop adjoining the restaurant – encyclopedic variety of ingredients, from tiny umeboshi plums, to medium, to umeboshi paste, from Japanese buckweat to rye, rice, rice powders of different hardness, to pastas, noodles, oils, hemp milks (first time to discover it in Japan!), sea weed salts and fresh organic vegetables.
I ordered a plate lunch and my husband – a Japanese curry set. My plate came with a bowl of light miso soup, crispy lettuce leaf (sadly, just one...), some cumin infused marinated cabbage, few pieces of creamy kabocha squash, very tiny dish of beans and carrots stew. And a mountain of nutty brown rice and a generous amount of ground black sesame-salt to top over the rice. I must say my food was really well prepared to reveal the best of those nice vegetables. No overpowering spices, salt or ingredients you’d not be able to recognize.
My husband’s dish instead of miso soup had Japanese curry and lesser variety of small vegies, so I think I was luckier. Plus basic matter in his curry was soy meat, which I’m not obsessed about.
The only problem with this restaurant and in general macrobiotic attitude in my personal understanding is too small amount of vegetables to rice, no matter how brown and delicious that rice is. It still remains sticky heavy and hard to digest. I could eat a huge bowl of lettuce, or three times more of those other vegetables and probably just a spoon or two of brown rice would be enough.
Apart from my personal preferences, macrobiotic is a form of local vegan food without vegan to be spelt. If there were more of such restaurants around, eating out would be easier.
Updated from previous review on Sunday January 25, 2015
Cons: too much rice, too little lettuce