There are few Tokyo lunch spots more tranquil than this wonderful eatery in a quiet corner of Nakameguro. And there are few better places to get healthy home cooking than a restaurant run by Yuki Aoyama, whose numerous cookbooks line the shelves by the entrance. Aoyama specialises in obanzai – Kyoto cuisine with an emphasis on balance, seasonality and sustainability – with a subtle Korean twist. Her background is in medicinal cooking and she’s become renowned for her carefully sourced MSG-free food, so health freaks and those on restrictive diets are likely to hit the jackpot here.
Lunch guests can choose one of four set meals (¥1,000-¥1,400): we love the platter of fluffy tamago, miso aubergine, pickled lotus root and seaweed with agedashi tofu. An alternative in colder weather is a Korean hot pot made without the usual meat and sugar and served with wholegrain rice. The setting is every bit as nourishing as the food; a dimly-lit, two-storey traditional Japanese house with earthy food photography on the walls, a menu neatly written on blackboards and exceptionally good music from a playlist selected by one of Aoyama’s musician friends. Dinner time at Aoya is usually just for members and their guests, but Aoyama says she’ll happily welcome anybody carrying a copy of Time Out Tokyo. What are you waiting for?
1-15-10 Aobadai, Meguro-ku
|Opening hours:||11.30am-5pm, 6.30pm-11pm (last orders 10pm) / closed Mon|
|Transport:||Nakameguro Station (Hibiya, Tokyu Toyoko lines)|