Nouka no Daidokoro (Farmer's Kitchen)

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In Kunitachi, not far from the station, there's a gigantic daikon emerging from the 3rd story of an otherwise nondescript building. This is how you will recognise Nouka no Daidokoro, a restaurant that specialises in fresh produce.

There's a living, growing garden in the middle of the dining area but most of their vegetables come from farmers around the city.

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An ice covered table is the all-you-can eat salad bar. It's not the sort of salad bar where you peer at the offering through a sneeze guard and where you pile your plate with lettuce, pale tomatoes and fight for the last black olive before settling on a few scoops of mayo-laden salads. Everything on this salad bar is freshly prepped by a salad chef who is on hand to tell you about it, with every ingreditent at the peak of its seasonal deliciousness and completely raw. I'd never eaten raw corn before - it was sweet and crunchy! I also tried baby cucumbers (sour!), and eggplant-black peppers. And oh, the tomatoes!

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The menu changes every month, depending on what's coming from the local farms. August is so abundant that it was difficult to tell what was the focus of the menu. There was a flight of fresh juices, "summer vegetable steak," udon made with different vegetables for seasoning and color, rice salad with cucumber dressing, and a strange and delicious yuzu-scented sweetened gourd dessert. I suspect in January it might be a little easier to know what's in season and with a monthly change of menu, it seems like 12 visits a year would be reasonable just to discover the joys of changing seasons.

While it's not a vegetarian restaurant, Nouka no Daidokoro do have a "100% Vegetable" set menu and many of the ala carte items are vegetarian and some seem to be vegan. One small nit to pick - it would be helpful if the menu specified which items were meatless and/or vegan.

That's not going to stop me from going out to Kunitachi for dinner. It's 45 minutes from Tokyo station on the Chuo Rapid, or just over half an hour from Shinjuku. That's too far for lunch, but not unreasonable for dinner.

2 Comments

What a great find! Is kunitachi the only outlet? I'll look it up next time I'm in Tokyo.

Sounds yummy! I'm envious.

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  • mss @ Zanthan Gardens: Sounds yummy! I'm envious. read more
  • Erra: What a great find! Is kunitachi the only outlet? I'll read more

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