The latest addition to the Wired family, Wired Chaya is a laidback restaurant and café bringing comforting Japanese eats with a global twist to the shopping chaos that is Shinjuku’s Lumine Est. As its name suggests, the concept here is that of a tea house, focused on providing a relaxing atmosphere for diners looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Expect reinterpreted takes on classic Japanese dishes like donburi bowls; here, these range from taco rice and veggie bowls to fresh sashimi. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any California rolls in Japan, but the restaurant’s Okome California bowl topped with diced raw salmon, tuna, ikura and avocado is the closest thing you’ll get. We also tried out their signature tuna and avocado flower bowl, in which the avocado is cut and shaped into a pretty flower. Each bowl is served with a side of miso soup, salad and sweet soy sauce – we would have preferred normal shoyu instead.
After a rice-heavy start to the meal, we finished off with a few enticing desserts, including a towering ice cream parfait and french toast thicker than any we’d seen before. Their anmitsu parfait is topped with dango, matcha warabimochi and azuki bean paste, all layered on a bed of kanten jelly and crispy cereal flakes drizzled in kuromitsu. We enjoyed the matcha mix but the soft cream melted a little too fast for our liking.
On the other hand, the french toast was a lot lighter than it looked, the bread soft and fluffy served with a side of soft cream, strawberries and azuki bean paste – good but hardly outstanding. We washed it all down with a refreshing glass of ginger-infused hojicha, which made for a nice end to the meal.
With Wired Chaya’s interesting take on Japanese food, it could easily feel as if you're dining at a trendy downtown Los Angeles eatery. This one just might be worth a look for travelling gourmands who need a taste of home.
|Venue name:||Wired Chaya Shinjuku|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 11am-11pm; Sat, Sun & hols 11am-10.30pm|
|Transport:||Shinjuku Station, east exit|