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Kung Fu Kitchen
You'll be spoilt for choice in the ramen department at this Chinese-style noodle shop: they have a whopping 26 different varieties to pick from. Satisfy a shrimp craving with their shrimp wonton noodles, go all pork-happy with the umami-rich pork rib ('paakoo') noodles or choose shio soup with a peppery kick by having their aoto negi (blue pepper and leek) ramen. You'll also get to select the thickness of your noodles – three types are available, from old-school thin to imperially thick ones – and if you feel the need to add a little extra volume to your meal, there's gyoza and dim sum on offer too. Besides the staggering amount of choice, the main draw will likely be their interior, which is modelled on a streetside food court or hawker centre. Open June 2, 2017
Meat meets coffee at this Kyoto-imported café, where the menu focuses on homemade sausages, steaks, hamburg steaks and other meaty fare alongside some fine brew. Their hot dogs are particularly noteworthy: made with branded chamiton pork from Kagoshima, the juicy yet crisp sausage is worthy of the 'signature' moniker. There's also a 'healthier' option in the shape of a chicken-based hot dog, and a 'steak dog' – more than enough choice here for wiener lovers. Open May 29, 2017
Nippon no Hitosara
Bringing out the best in fish through fermentation: that's the driving idea behind this new Marunouchi restaurant. Using fish and fermented seasonings from ports across the country, Nippon no Hitosara has added some inventive quirks to its menu as well: definitely try the sashimi with shiboritate kiage shoyu, meaning freshly pressed, unpasteurised and unfiltered soy sauce – it's been fermented but not strained. Soy sauce (and the fish, of course) doesn't get much fresher than this. If you want some veggies instead, the Asatore yasai to sanshu no hishio (morning vegetables with three types of paste, made with homemade jang (think miso paste)) is a good bet, while the Futakuchi hakko tai chazuke, Thai-style seabream sashimi with fermented soy sauce on top of rice with tea, is another fishy winner. Their lunch sets look very good too, although you might have to get there early to grab one of the ¥1,000 teishoku: two of the sets, including the rather scrumptious Ryukyu-don – despite its Okinawan name, this is an Oita speciality, a soy- and mirin-doused sashimi donburi with sesame, shiso and green onions – are only served to ten customers daily. Open May 30, 2017
Cinagro Organic Salad & Café
Tokyo seems to have gone all salad-happy this year, with this organic veg-based salad shop opening inside the Marunouchi Building being the latest testament to the healthy fad. In a twist on farm to table, they've gone for a 'farm to bowl' concept: combine some of your favourite veggies and they'll stuff them into a bowl before topping it all off with a fresh herb, white balsamic or other dressing. For those who need a steady gluten intake, there's talk of a selection of piadina – an Italian-style fluffy-ish flatbread – too, as well as some more heartier fare. Open May 29, 2017
Upcoming food events
Taiwan Festival Tokyo Beer Garden
Ueno Park's central plaza gets turned into a Taiwan-style beer garden for four June days, with the ice cold brews complemented by edibles from street stall grub to fresh mango, lychee, pineapple and banana. Don't forget to try your luck in the lychee seed-throwing contest – the winner gets a return flight to Taiwan, while runners-up receive more spiky fruit than they can carry.
Phak Chi Fes
If fresh coriander and your innards don't get along, it might be for the best to stay away from Kabukicho during this five-day festival, which sees all things phak chi served up in obscene quantities and in forms that range from pad thai to curry and burgers. The nine participating shops will all be equipped with beer taps, so feel free to hop around and combine your green treats with cold ones. Just prepare for queues – Tokyo's coriander boom is showing no signs of slowing down.
Oedo Hawaii Festival
Hula dancing meets taiko drumming at this eclectic fusion festival that celebrates both Hawaiian and Japanese culture in Nihonbashi over one weekend in July. The underground (and properly air-conditioned) Belle Salle hall will see a good 80 acts showcasing everything from taiko drumming and shamisen, swordsmanship and Japanese dancing to hula and traditional Hawaiian music, while the consumables are set to range from loco moco bowls to washoku (we're hoping for some poke...)
Held more or less every year since 2008, the Vietnam Festival returns in June with a programme as schizophrenic as ever: the ample quantities of bánh mì, 333 Beer and pho are complemented by a lineup of live entertainment ranging from V-pop singers to local comedians and idol groups. We're also looking forward to the interesting form of traditional art known as 'water puppetry', a practice that goes back centuries in Vietnam, and the many stalls selling handicrafts and other fun knickknacks.
Tokyo Beer Week
The best week of the year for craft beer converts, Beer Week returns in late May for a bonanza of events taking place all over the city. Confusingly enough, it takes place over two weeks this year and sees brewers and industry folk from all over the world descend on Tokyo, joining representatives of domestic brands and brews for everything from seminars to special offers. Kicking off at Commune 2nd and the UNU farmer's market on May 27, the celebration continues at practically every dedicated craft pub in the city. Highlight events include a 'Rockin' Beer Cabaret' on June 2, a cheese pairing duel on June 4, and the spring edition of BeerFes Tokyo, on at Ebisu's The Garden Hall on June 3 and 4. For the full list of events, see this page.
Midtown Loves Summer
Having celebrated its tenth anniversary in spring, Tokyo Midtown now gears up for the hot season with a packed programme of summery fun. The insides of the complex will be decorated with wind chimes, while the expansive lawn area, which will be illuminated at night, is where to dip your feet in a cool stream or sit down for a fruity cocktail at the Smirnoff Midpark Cafe. To top things off, every night between August 10 and 13 (from 7.30pm) will see a firework show combined with some digital hanabi art.