T's TanTan at Tokyo Central Station is famous amongst vegetarians in Japan. It is one of the very few places that sells vegan ramen and it is located in the very heart of Tokyo. However, the restaurant at Tokyo Station is merely the little brother of T's TanTan in Jiyugaoka.
After many good experiences in Tokyo Station, I wanted to try the real thing. Jiyugaoka isn't exactly a popular area for tourists, but the restaurant is less than 5 minutes by foot from Jiyugaoka station.
Compared to the Tokyo Station, the restaurant in Jiyugaoka is a world apart. In Tokyo vegan fast food is served at a fast pace. Waiters are always running, people are queueing outside and the lights are bright. T's TanTan Jiyugaoka is located in a basement floor. The mood is mellow, relaxed and jazz music is playing. This is like going from fastfood to slow food!
The most important reason to try the Jiyugaoka branch is the change in menu. At Tokyo Station only ramen is sold, in Jiyugaoka the menu is much more extensive. However, the menu is also more confusing. We selected our meals on the website, but it turned out the menu was changed and the website wasn't updated yet. Also, the English menu differs from the Japanese one. Once we made a choice, many dishes were sold out so we had to pick something else.
The portions are small, yet tasty. I started with the "hamburger" which is fact is just a piece of fake meat dressed in some sauce and onion rings. It is not a main dish like the menu suggests. My friend ordered pasta in tomato sauce which she raved about. We continued with fried chicken (tofu) in mayonaise, which also comes in very small portions. Finally we had gyoza which was the most tasty of the evening, but still not very satisfying. However, the total price of the meal adds up quickly by ordering so many small meals.
We left T's TanTan Jiyugaoka with mixed emotions. It differs so much from the Tokyo Station restaurant that only the name and a part of the menu overlap. Yet, the quality was fine and it does offer some welcome variety. Hopefully next time less items are sold out...
Cons: small portions, high prices, many meals sold out, english, japanese en web menu differ