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Reviews (1)

First Review by eatinggreen

Delightful but overpriced - Edit

We've eaten here twice, maybe 3 times and it is always pleasant. The presentation and flavours are lovely and the setting is too - super traditional tatami mat rooms with tiny traditional chairs that for some reason always make me feel like I've been reborn as Japanese royalty. They have a splendid zen garden outside but every time we go there the doors are closed, to keep out either the heat, the cold or the mosquitoes... so you'll see the garden on the way in and out but will eat your meal looking at the wall and the sparsely furnished zen minimalist room.

If you haven't been to any other shojin eateries I wouldn't recommend this as your first ever experience, if only because it's severely overpriced and you can get more for less elsewhere. I also don't really like the way they objectify foreigners here - they're never rude (quite the contrary, it's more an issue of over-politeness), but they just refuse to speak to me as though I'm an actual person despite the fact that I actually speak native level Japanese if only given a chance to open my mouth. Rant over though, that's probably just a cultural thing and the way they treat us is no doubt a reflection of their experiences with foreigners to date (or perhaps the lack of), plus a desire to please.

They are famous here for a particular type of fermented soybean (natto). Surprisingly it doesn't feature prominently in their meals, but apparently it is used in their cooking. Our theory is that their natto fame may be behind the cheeky prices. If you'd like to take your own slice of zen away with you, the natto beans are available for sale in the street-side store outside. We're always feeling decidedly broke after dishing out for our meal, so are yet to venture that far. Next time, perhaps.

Pros: authentic, gorgeous garden outside

Cons: priced like poison for what you get, weird manner towards foreigners, view is always obscured

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