If you live or work in the Omotesando/Harajuku area, this is an ideal spot for a quick lunch or afternoon tea. There are small tables against the floor-to-ceiling windows and along the back wall, while the centre of the restaurant has space for single diners who can take up a spot at two large wooden tables. After your meal, you can nip next door to Neal’s Yard Remedies – the restaurant works as a kind of extension to the store – and stock up on organic skin care, essential oils and healing leaf teas.
At Brown Rice, the focus is on whole foods and vegan meals, something that is evident in both the flavour and texture of the dishes. It’s earthy and unfussy, and you really do get the feeling that the veggies packed into the miso soup have just been picked in a garden outside (in reality, they are delivered daily from farms around the country). One page in the menu is dedicated to telling you where the ingredients are sourced from, for example, the homemade raw miso is made with malted white rice from Yamagata Prefecture, while the award winning sticky brown rice hails from Toyama Prefecture.
You can’t go wrong with the seasonal set menu (¥1,900; ¥2,400 on weekends) which includes one main dish and three small side dishes – usually simmered vegetables, greens and seaweed – as well as a bowl of brown rice and organic miso soup. Or you can opt for the simpler vegetable curry (¥1,600; ¥1,000 on weekends) packed with seasonal veggies and beans simmered in aromatic spices.