SaiShokuKenBi

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 16 reviews )
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03-53323627
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2-21-26 Hyakunin-cho, Shinjyuku-ku (at Okubo station north exit), Tokyo, Japan

Vegetarian shop and cafe. Serves lunch til 2:30pm, after that it offers drink and sweets only. Shop sells vegetarian food products like faux meats plus cookbooks. Directions: Exit Okubo station, make a right, go about 3 blocks until you see a Dotour coffee shop on your right, look to your left, directly across the street from Dotour you'll see a small side street, cross the street and go down that street, you will come to a small green sign with the name of the restaurant above the vending machines that line the side street, go 2 blocks and you'll see a sign for the restaurant on your left, there is a buddha statue in the courtyard. Address 東京都新宿区百人町2-21-26. Open Mon 11:00am-5:00pm, Wed-Sun 11:00am-5:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Japanese

Reviews (16)

First Review by feorag

delicious, great value and quality - Edit

So pleasantly surprised by this place. Got the katsukare set and it was so big filling and delicious. Giant bowl of rice, curry, crispy pork cutlet, roasted and fresh veggies and pickles. Side of a fresh salad with delicious savory dressing, soup, and fruit. The set is $1300 and even comes with drink (I got the organic coffee - really good and comes with little cookies and cake). Fantastic value and just really tasty, highly recommended

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Nice but overrated. - Edit

This place has been on my to-visit list for a long time now. Now that I've finally tried it, to be honest, I can say that it's nice enough, but quite overrated. Perhaps things have just gone a bit worse over the years, I don't know. But for now anyway, and to me, it just isn't as great as all the high ratings make it out to be.

In terms of location, it is indeed a bit hard to find but the directions in previous reviews are good. You only have to go down just the right alleyway off the main street, and they have a board sign out that is easy to spot. One positive part of it being off the high-rent main street is that the locale itself is actually very nice...nicer than a lot of other places in the crowded Okubo area. It is spacious and airy, with a relaxing atmosphere. The people are also wonderful. There isn't much English (spoken or written) here though.

However, when it comes to the food quality itself, things aren't quite as wonderful. The food just doesn't taste all that great or natural. Nor does it feel all that healthy...the meals are made with a fair bit of processed ingredients and I could readily taste and feel the difference. As for the menu item selections themselves, there's nothing really wrong with them, but they are all also just a very average array of rice bowls and pasta. Prices are reasonable enough...individual dishes are about 800 to 1000 yen and a full lunch set is 1300 yen. All in all, the food isn't bad, but certainly nothing special.

They do stock a number of items to buy for takeout, but most of them are of the "grocery" variety...either frozen or packaged/processed food. They don't have much in the way of fresh ready-to-eat takeout items like sandwiches or bento boxes...something to keep in mind for those looking to eat on the go.

Conclusion: just ok. I might drop by again when I'm in the area, but certainly can't recommend going out of your way for it. If you're already in the area and just want a veg lunch in a nice quiet setting, this is a fine place for that. But there are many other veg places in Tokyo with far better food.

Pros: Nice locale

Cons: Very average-tasting, processed food

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Very Delicious - Edit

I had a very delicious set lunch for 1300 Yen, including a drink. One of the best vegetarian meals I have had in Tokyo.

The place is a bit difficult to find.

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Delicious lunch - Edit

Had a lovely lunch here yesterday - you can choose between two teishoku (set meal) or a rice dish which are 1200 and 800 yen respectively. These change weekly. My friend had a gyoza set and I had spring rolls. The presentation is amazing, your food comes out in a big tray with lots of little sections containing various dishes, plus miso soup and your drink of choice and a (very) small selection of cookies/cake. Both our meals were very tasty and the volume was good for the price. No English spoken but the staff were very friendly and I'm sure would help out if you need the menu explained.

I was also happy to be able to pick up some dried soy meat at the little shop, they have a good selection and prices are reasonable. Will definitely go back!

The restaurant is a little difficult to find - my best directions (as of November 2014) would be: come out of the north exit of Okubo station and cross the street. Turn right and walk along the street, past a 7-11 convenience store. Take the next proper street on the left (not the small lane which is a dead-end) and walk 20m or so up the road. The restaurant is located at the rear of a complex of a buddhist sect that houses a Miroku buddha (happy buddha).

Pros: Good value, Great presentation, Can pick up some veggie supplies!

Cons: Tricky to find, Generally only open for lunch

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yummy - Edit

Food was very tasty, and reasonably good value. For lunch, there are 3 options: there are 2 set plates which cost 1200 yen each, and a rice dish that costs 800. the menu changes each week. I had one of the plates, which had rice with red beans and seaweed, squash, green beans, tempura vegetables, noodles with pesto, salad, and another kind of veg but I am not sure what it was! Soup, a hot or cold. drink, and a dessert (biscuits and cake) were also included in the price. All absolutely delicious, and very very filling. The staff did not speak English, but showed me a photo of the food in the menu, and were able to ask me in English whether eggs and dairy were OK. The place is easy to find using the directions on happycow, although it is a bit out of the way. I would definitely recommend making the trip!

Pros: delicious food, reasonable price, easy to find

Cons: no english menu

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Update: no more buffets - Edit

Unfortunately, they no longer serve any buffet (lunch or dinner). They are still open and serve lunch bento box set and a la carte dinner (on certain nights), but their wonderful buffets - my favorite - are a thing of the past.

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One of the best veggie meals I've had in Tokyo! - Edit

This restaurant is great! I've been back there several times because the food is so nice.

The first time I ever went there, the lady asked me if I can eat dairy and eggs. I do, so I can eat all the dishes, but if you're vegan or a vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs, they'll help you out if you mention it.

Note: They have now stopped the buffet in favour of set meals which rotate, so everytime you go there's a new dish! Plate A/B costs 1200 yen and the smaller donburi C (rice bowl) costs 780 yen. They freshly make each plate to order.

The best meal I had there was an A/B plate with a potato and soya mince croquette. The side dishes are usually the same whether you order plate A or B: soya meat salad with sesame dressing, mixed grain rice on nori seaweed, pickles and cooked vegetables. You also get miso soup, a drink, a small Japanese dessert and a piece of fruit.

The vegetarian shop is also very convenient. In Japan, it's virtually impossible to pick up frozen ready foods which don't contain animal extracts, but this place has a massive freezer full! They also stock vegetarian instant ramen noodle packets, veggie ham and dried soya pieces.

There's a marble Buddha statue outside whose tummy you can rub! It's also worth visiting the hall next to the restaurant which houses a giant wooden Buddha.
The restaurant is located in Tokyo's Koreatown. It's an interesting walk along the main road if you want to make an afternoon of it.

The directions are correct from JR Okubo Station - turn right, look out for the Doutor and it's the alley opposite, about 2 minutes' walk.
Alternatively, if you're coming from the Yamanote Line, you can get down at JR Shin-Okubo Station, turn left and find the Doutor. It's a slightly longer walk than coming from JR Okubo Station.
I've noticed the last few times I went that they've put a green sign up at the side of the alley in English.

Happy eating! :)

Pros: Healthy, Tasty, Reasonable price

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Pretty delicious Japanese vegetarian food - Edit

This is a cute, quaint little restaurant hidden off the street. The directions are pretty accurate. I went to the restaurant expecting the much-discussed vegetarian buffet, but was sorely disappointed to find it was not in service the day we arrived there. I settled for the hamburg set and although the mock chicken salad was to die for, the hamburg came up short on taste. The nimono was good, the rice was okay, the miso soup was delicious and the pumpkin/mustard salad was good. I do recommend this restaurant, especially since it has a great selection of mock meats you can purchase for your at-home needs. The mock meats are quite pricey compared to the States...but it's just nice to find them in Japan at ALL! Check out the buffet times and try this restaurant. I know I will go back and try it sometime!

Pros: mock meat choices, okay value

Cons: limited buffet times

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Amazing - Edit

I really can't say anything bad about this place. Great lunch buffet for a very reasonable 1300yen. Fantastic selection of food, delicious, interesting etc. Very relaxed atmosphere.

I'm looking forward to trying the Nagoya branch!

Pros: Amazing food, Great Value

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Great Buffet of Japanese Food! - Edit

We really wanted to go to a vegetarian restaurant featuring traditional (veg'n style!) Japanese cuisine here, and this was just that. A buffet full of many great options. We thought it was easy to find, although in the main directions it says to go 2-3 blocks on the last street -- it is NOT that far. Maybe a block, just watch for a sign and the buddha in the courtyard. The food was all excellent with a great variety of dishes - miso soup, hot dishes, cold dishes, rices, appetizers, etc. Good mix of fake meats and other veggies etc. Best to go at a peak hour when other people will be there, as they make more dishes when more people are there. The food otherwise sits out and gets cold (they are not on heated dishes) - but not a huge deal, as once we came in (and we were the only ones at first, til several more people came after), they immediately started making more hot dishes for just us too. We had more than enough to eat. They give you a 90 minute time limit, which we found amusing -- but certainly more than enough time to have more than an adequate amount of wonderful food! The price (2000 yen for dinner) was more than we're used to paying, but probably fair for the Tokyo area and a buffet. We would go back if we're back in Tokyo!

Pros: Great Food!, Buffet = Lots of Food!, Many Options To Try!

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updated directions - Edit

There are two exits from the Okubo station. Exit using the North exit and follow the directions given ( turn right, look for the Dotour coffee shop, turn left, etc).
This food was great, my husband said it was the best he ever had. Kanpai!

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Huge variety--and tasty! - Edit

I liked this restaurant--lots of good variety within the (mostly) Japanese cuisine. Quite a few items had fake meat (including skewers), but not all. Some of the things they had included cellophane noodles with veggies, mung bean jelly (sort of tofu-like), a few Chinese-style vegetable dishes, miso soup and azuki beans. Some items had eggs and/or dairy--though these were usually easy to notice.

Pros: good food, good variety

Cons: a bit expensive, not open every night

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Wow! I can't wait to go back! - Edit

If you want to have traditional Japanese dishes while in Japan but can't find anything without it being cooked in fish stock or without it having occasional meat thrown in, than you will really love this place. They use mock meats for meat substitute in many of their dishes and make delicious Yakiniku and Yakitori with them too. As in the other previews, the buffet is really wonderful and the staff are really nice. I only went to the dinner buffet so I'll have to check out the lunch buffet next.

Pros: excellent food/ mock meats, no smoking/ clean, nice staff

Cons: confusing location, cafeteria look inside, Tokyo prices

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Amazing, don't miss it! - Edit

This place was incredible! Don't miss it. Note: changes to the directions below my review.

It is a vegetarian, mostly vegan, buffet with about 20 items, 3 soups, red and brown rice, and desserts. The food was delicious and varied (don't miss the stewed daikon dish). The non-vegan dishes are marked as containing eggs or milk by a little red or blue sticker. I have a gluten/potato intolerance and had no trouble finding lots to eat, if you had a severe gluten allergy you would have to ask about it.

Most of the staff spoke little english but one of the co-owners (I think she was one of the co-owners anyway) was quite proficient and super helpful.

Take note that it is only open for lunch from 11:30-2:30 (daily I think, possibly just during the week) and for supper only on Thursday and Friday from 5:30-7:30. It is only a buffet and is only open during these times. There is no need to make a reservation.

There is a little grocery where you can buy fake meet and things of that nature.

The price seems high (1500 for lunch, 2000 for supper) but is definitely worth it. Eating at other places always cost me at least 1500 anyway (restaurants seem pricey in Tokyo). I am sad I was only able to go one time before leaving.

Directions: The Okubu station is not on the subway line, it is on the JR-train line (similiar to the metro but slightly different). There are, in fact, two exits at this station - north and south. Take the north exit. You should find the exit runs into a busy street like a T-intersection (so you have to choose to turn right or left). The street has lots of restaurants and shops and people. If you come out into a web of small alleyways, you went out the wrong exit.

Anyway, at the north exit, turn right. Not far, less than 1 block down (before the first set of lights) you will see the Doutor coffee shop on your right. From there the other directions are right (take the alley directly across from the doutor, go about 1 block, and you will see it on your left with a buddha in the courtyard - it is the first place on the left with a courtyard.

Pros: Delicious, buffet, vegan

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hard to find but worth it - Edit

It took a call to the restaurant and a good deal of circling around to find it but it's definitely worth it. Vegetarian Japanese food that's not shoujin-ryouri isn't easy to find in Japan so I was very pleased. The day I was there they had fried konnyaku done in a mock meat fashion that was delicious. Lots of tasty dishes.

To get there: Exit Okubo station (there's only one exit) and make a right. Go about 3-4 blocks until you see a Dotour coffee shop on your right hand side. Look to your left. Directly across the street from the Dotour you'll see a small side street. Cross the street and go down that side street. If you're not sure, you should see a small green sign with the name of the restaurant above the vending machines that line the side street. Go about 2-3 blocks and you should see a sign for the restaurant on your left hand side. The big Buddha statue isn't on the street itself but in a courtyard about 15m in.

Pros: great food

Cons: hard to find, food descriptions are in japanese only

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Wonderful vegetarian buffet - Edit

Located in a courtyard off a quiet street near the north entrance to Okubu station, this restaurant is not the easiest place to find. Just as you are giving up hope, you look to the left and see a statue of a fat, happy Buddha - this is the place!

SaiShokuKenBi has recently started doing an evening buffet a couple of nights a week, and we went there on a Friday evening. The choice of food was substantial, with soups, rice, curry, various skewers, vegetable dishes, salads, pickles, a couple of western style dishes, a choice of desserts, juices and an incomprehesibly wide selection of teas.

Not everything was vegan, but that which isn't is marked - in Japanese. For me, egg (卵) is the really important issue, and it was great to have that indicated. The dairy-based dishes were obvious - the gratin, for example.

SaiShokuKenBi also has a shop attached, selling mock meat and other vegetarian products, and their own cookbooks.

Pros: vast choice, delicious food, non-vegan food labelled

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