• Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 1 review )

67 Matsushima Chonai Miyagi Gun, Miyagi ken, Matsushima, Japan, 981-0213

Serves meat, vegan options available. Kaiseki restaurant within the grounds of zen buddhist Entsuin Temple. Has a number of small private rooms with views of moss-covered traditional gardens. Minimum party size of 2 (4 in winter between December and April) required. Able to prepare elaborate multi-course vegetarian or vegan lunches upon request, using elements from shojinryori (Buddhist cooking). Focus is on seasonal and local food, including nut tofu, yuzu citrus from trees in the temple grounds, and a variety of vegetables. It may not be possible to substitute for dashi with small amounts of fish stock, so please confirm when reserving if that is an issue for you. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Mon-Tue 11:30am-3:00pm, Thu-Sun 11:30am-3:00pm.

Categories: Japanese, Non-veg

1 Review

First Review by JVeggie

Vegetarian Adventure - Edit

A lunch at Ungai was my first time to experience Buddhist vegetarian "shojinryori" cooking. The entrance to Ungai is a simple wooden gate next to the entrance to Entsuin Temple. From there you walk down a small pathway into another world. Ungai is divided into a number of small private rooms. The room I was in had a pleasant view of the gardens of Entsuin Temple.

The food came out in a red lacquered chest. While I did not understand exactly what I was eating- I had never seen or tasted beans, fruit, vegetables and other dishes prepared in these ways before but the presentation was outstanding and seasoning light and delicious. I loved trying different varieties of tofu from what I had ever had before. I had cooked with some of the Japanese sansai and winter vegetables but never had them prepared in these type of sesame, miso and other subtle marinades.

As a bonus, before we left our party was even greeted by Ms. Amano, one of the priests of Entsuin Temple. It's nice that this restaurant is supporting an active temple, which is also worth visiting and is a bargain at 300 yen.

Pros: Delicious, healthy, well-prepared food, Excellent peaceful ambiance and garden views, Unique food not served in most restaurants

Cons: Relatively expensive for lunch (around 4000 yen), Reservation required, Dashi has fish in the broth?

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