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Roran

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 6 reviews )
Contact +81-339844981
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Toshima-Ku, Nishi Ikebukuro 2-39-8, Rose bay (at Ikebukuro building 1st floor), Tokyo, Japan,

Serves meat, vegan options available. Has a separate vegetarian (saishoku) menu, with dishes such as sweet and sour vege chicken, vege spring rolls, gyoza, and other soy meat substitutes. Make sure you choose the correct menu. Japanese language only. Directions: from Ikebukuro west exit go left until you past Hotel Metropolitan, cross the big road, and the restaurant will be on the left. Mon-Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm, Mon-Sat 11:30pm-2:00pm

Category: Chinese, Taiwanese, Non-veg

Reviews (6)

First Review by Baza

Cheap and (not so?) cheerful - Edit

We were going to Ikebukuro today so I looked on Happy Cow to see if there was anywhere veggie for lunch in the area. Veg-suitable Chinese food is hard to come by in Japan so we decided to try Roran.

At lunch time the a la carte menu is not available so you have to choose between around 6 set meals which come with help-yourself salad and dessert (although I was told the dessert, annin doufu, wasn't suitable for vegetarians). Like other Taiwanese vegetarian places the menu relies heavily on mock-meats. We ordered the "chicken" with cashew nuts and "pork chop" (tonkatsu), the latter of which I was almost scared was actually meat when I tried it! Both came with rice (up to one free refill), soup and a small dish of pickles for a very reasonable 800-900 yen each. The food was tasty and filling, and for the price definitely good value for money.

I was sad to find that on the weekend they don't offer the a la carte menu at lunchtime as I really wanted spring rolls! So if you are looking for more choice perhaps visit in the evening. Service was a bit brusque compared to Japanese restaurants but was speedy despite a lunchtime rush happening just as we got there. Smoking is allowed throughout the whole restaurant so I wouldn't visit again with my daughter, but would stop in again if I were in the area without her.

Pros: Lunch menu very good value, Vegetarian chinese food!, Dried soy meat on sale

Cons: Service a bit lacking, Restaurant all smoking


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Service with a frown - Edit

Based on the previous reviews on Happy Cow I decided to eat at Roran restaurant. When I asked the help in my hotel for directions they were somewhat surprised: go outside, cross the road and you're there. Why bother us with such a trivial question? It turns out Roran restaurant is right across the taxi/bus entrance of the Ikebukuro Metropolitan hotel. Isn't that convenient?

A word of warning: the name "Roran" is only written in Chinese characters on the building itself. So study the picture on this website well before you search for this restaurant.

On the day of my visit the clientele consisted of two kinds of guests. The big round tables were filled with cheerful, elderly Japanese people. It looked like they couldn't care less about animal welfare. The smaller tables were occupied by tourists seeking vegetarian food and locals knowing this is the best place in this neighbourhood for vegetarian food.

The waitress was short and snappy. She didn't speak a word of English and simply slammed the menu in front of me, flipped it to the green pages and indicated I should choose from those. The menu is in both English and Japanese and clearly explained that whenever "shrimp", "chicken" or "pork" was mentioned it was actually tofu. I opted for the mapo tofu with a side dish of spring rolls. Both were pretty good, although I could tell the ingredients used were not of top quality. Don't expect macrobiotics or super fresh vegetables. While not the healthiest choice in town, the spices were spot on making it a delicious meal indeed.

And... since this isn't exactly a classy place prices are rather modest. Despite the snappy service I'd certainly eat here again.

Pros: cheap, easy to find, tasteful

Cons: no top quality ingredients, snappish service, not a classy place


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Excellent food, huge selection. - Edit

After spending about a month in Tokyo, and eating at many different restaurants, there were none I returned to as many times as Roran. The vegetarian menu offers a large selection of foods, many focusing on mock meats. During my stay I think I went back to Roran about 6 times and there was nothing on the menu that wasn't excellent. Favorites include fried rice, veggie spring rolls, sweet and sour pork and gyoza. The soups are delicious and filling as well.
Staff is very friendly and helpful, the waitress even made sure to ask if we were able to eat eggs. Reading the directions above sounded somewhat daunting, but never fear, they are spot on and they got us exactly where we needed to go. The Roran sign is lit up in neon green, which is very helpful in spotting the correct place. If you are going for dinner, make sure you arrive after 5:00, it seems like the old hours had been changed from 4:00, so we had to wait another hour before they opened the first time.
The only problem I had was deciding what to get. In a city where vegan food can be hard to find, Roran is a comforting trustworthy restaurant that is definitely worth going back to. I know the first place I'll be eating on my next trip to Tokyo!

Pros: large menu, friendly, helpful staff

Cons: closed saturdays


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Delicious, nice atmosphere. - Edit

Like the above review, I was really happy to find the atmosphere much like vegetarian chinese places in Canada: ie. it is just a restaurant that serves vegetarian food, not some sort of "vegetarian experience" which I found at other places in Tokyo.

They do have a meat menu but the vegetarian menu is very extensive and has english listings. The prices are reasonable (around 700-900 yen a dish) and the food quite good. The soups are big although the portions of the other dishes are tokyo-sized (on the smaller side). The hot and sour soup was great!

The staff was very friendly. I highly recommend this place.

Corrected Directions: At Ikebukuro station go out the west exit. Immediately to your left will be a smaller street, take this street (you can also go 1 block up and turn left on the larger street if you would rather). After about 3 or 4 blocks you will run into a trendy shopping centre called Metropolitan Plaza. You want to continue in the same direction you have been walking so you will have to jog up to the larger street (so: turn right when you hit the plaza and then turn left again immediately on the big road). Continue along this road for a 2 or 3 more blocks until you see the Hotel Metropolitan on your right. Keep going a couple more blocks until you hit a larger road. Cross the street and turn right. The restaurant is a few stores up on the the left. There is no english on the restaurant sign but I think it is the only restaurant near there, the next door past the restaurant has the correct address, 23-9-8, I believe. If you are unsure go in to the restaurant and say "Roran dess-ka?" and they will say "Hai!"

Pros: delicious, good prices, great soup

Cons: meat menu


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super happy - Edit

great food! we had ramen, s&s chicken (ok), shredded pork (yum!), gyoza, spring rolls, radish cakes... fantastic. the staff was good and asked us if eggs were ok. also, the whole place was filled with chinese folks, which seems like a good sign.

Pros: excellent food, inexpensive

Cons: closed on saturday!


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Great - Edit

Lots of delicious vegan dishes with unfortunate names like `sweet and sour pork`.
Not `trendy try-hard` like many vegan places in Tokyo.

Pros: good portions, reasonable prices, delicious

Cons: In Ikebukuro


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