Jam-mu’s TOP 10 Gourmet Lunch Spots In Ebisu That Will Have Your Mouth Watering
This is Ebisu, a city of young folk, located around 20 minutes by train from Tokyo Station right next to Shibuya. Does the word Ebisu remind of anything? That's right! "YEBISU Beer"! Ebisu Station got its name from the fact that the station was opened in 1901 as a cargo shipment station for Yebisu Beer. You can enjoy beer tasting at Ebisu Garden Place, where the main office of Sapporo Beer and the Yebisu Beer Memorial Hall are located.
In front of the station is a statue of a god from the Japanese myth of the Shichifukujin (Seven Lucky Gods), known as Ebisu, and the statue itself is a popular meeting place. Ebisu is known for its trendy and delicious restaurants, which contribute to its popularity as a place to hold a social mixer or to go for a date. This time, Count WOW, the "jam-mu" who is widely knowledgeable about all areas across Japan, is going to be introducing the Top 10 Restaurants in Ebisu along with Madam U.
WOW: Although there are many famous yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurants in Ebisu, the one that stands out even on food review sites is the popular chain restaurant, Kintan. The glass-covered entrance is particularly elegant. The restaurant's marker is a large lump of meat in the showcase, visible even from outside. Kintan is well known for their aged gyutan (beef tongue), roast beef, and red meat. Lunch prices range from 1,200 - 2,980 yen, with a selection of over 20 items to choose from.
U: If you're really a yakiniku connoisseur, then you can name all of the different cuts right?
W: Why of course. You have kalbi (boneless short ribs), rosu (loin), tan (beef tongue), harami (skirt), sirloin and..
U: Oh wow, you can get free extra helpings of the salad and daily soups. Isn't that wonderful.
W: (I was still in the middle of...) P-precisely, yes. The salad dressing is popular among women, and the restaurant is a novel location for a date. Being so popular, you might find yourself in a line during peak lunch hours, so it might be good to consider an early lunch before 11:00 am, or a late lunch after 1:00 pm.
U: I'd much rather be a lady who's waited upon, rather than a woman who waits.
W: I-is that so...
Address: 1-10-3 Trustrinkuebisu Bld., Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0021, Japan
Weekday: 11:30am-3:00pm (2:30pm LO)
Holiday: 11:00am-3:00pm (2:30pm LO)
Sunday: 5:00pm-10:00pm (9:15pm LO)
Monday: 6:00pm-11:00pm (10:15pm LO)
Tueday-Friday: 6:00pm-11:30pm (10:45pm LO)
Saturday/Public holiday: 5:00pm-11:00pm (10:15pm LO)
2. Medicinal Food & Rice Flour Cafe Yamanohitsuzi
W: U, have you perchance heard of the term "gluten-free"?
U: Hasn't everyone. But Japan really seems to be lacking when it comes to gluten-free restaurants.
W: Precisely. That's where you have "Yama no Hitsuzi" (Mountain Sheep), a gluten-free restaurant that opened in January of 2017, perfect for those who don't fancy wheat. The meals are prepared by a chef licensed in Chinese medicinal cuisine with fresh, seasonal ingredients, and you can even try their rice flour sweets for dessert.
U: That sounds fabulous!
W: The menu consists of a Seasonal Side Dishes Plate (1,300 yen) and the Seasonal Vegetables Plate (1,200 yen). The contents of these dishes change every week. The picture is of the Seasonal Side Dishes Plate.
U: Rice, miso soup, along with 4 side dishes and a dessert..that's quite the feast! I want what I want, and I want to keep this figure. Perfect for women that want it all.
W: Not to mention, the mascot is a little white dog called "Komugi" (wheat)
U: A dog named "Komugi" at a gluten-free restaurant, I really feel their sense of naming.
Address: 1-26-2 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0021
Closed: Every Monday, Thursday and Friday
3. Hinanjifan Shokudo: Hawker-style Asian Canteen 2 Ebisu Store
W: This is undoubtedly the place to go to for Singapore Chicken Rice! The chicken is tender and juicy, and the jasmine rice is cooked with chicken gravy, giving it such a delicious, rich flavor that you'll want to have seconds. For those of you who dislike coriander, they'll serve it without if you let them know beforehand.
U: Coriander is one of my favorites. Doesn't pakuchii ♡ (coriander) have bit of a sexy ring to it
W: I-is that so... Here, they have two options on their lunch menu between the Kainan Keihan (Singapore Chicken Rice) and the Daily Special Curry (900 yen), both of which come with as many helpings of jasmine rice as you like!
U: Between the soy sauce, garlic and ginger, and chili sauce, you get to choose from 3 different sauces and can have as much of each as you like. Personally, I recommend mixing all three♡
W: This, I was not aware of! I suppose I shall try myself sometime! The interior is of Asian taste in furnishings, and counters make the place welcoming even when visiting alone. This is also quite the popular restaurant, so I would recommend avoiding the lunch time rush during peak hours.
U: I'd much rather be a lady who's waited upon, rather than a woman who waits.
W: (Why a second time...)
Address: 1−21−14 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
4. Uncle Tom
W: This is an old-time restaurant specializing in spaghetti dishes opened in 1973. Although the most popular menu item is a cod-roe spaghetti, they have a plentiful variety of different kinds of spaghetti choose from, from conventional flavors, to slightly quirky variations as well. The bestselling "cod roe/urchin/squid" spaghetti is positively exquisite. Though the 1,200 price tag for a single dish of pasta may seem a bit expensive, the dish packs plenty of volume, and is very much worth the cost.
U: Oh, that fork has an interesting shape. The two outer prongs are curved.
W: Hm, well noticed. This shape apparently makes it easier to ravel the spaghetti on the fork! It really gives you a sense of their attention to the finer details.
U: Is that the Beatles they're playing on the speakers?
W: The interior space has been choreographed to the owner's taste. The earthy warmth of the wood creates a welcoming atmosphere.
U: They even have powdered cheese, basil, Tobasco, and black pepper on their tables. I'll color this pasta to my taste (laughs high-handedly)!
W: (Good grief...she worries me sometimes)
Address: 1−14−7 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
Closed: Every Sunday and Public Holiday
5. Ramen Kamuro
U: From tonkotsu (pork bone broth), soy sauce, miso, to shio (salt-flavor) Japan has quite the repertoire of different kinds of ramen. What kind of ramen do they have here?
W: This is a ramen restaurant that is extremely particular about their ingredients. They offer a Paitan (thick, viscous) chicken broth soup and a Chintan (clear, plain) chicken broth soup, both made without any artificial additives. You can truly rest assured in the quality of ingredients, and even drink the broth down to the last drop.
U: I'm falling for the manliness of the attitude, not using artificial additives to try and fake a flavor.
W: They never use ready-made products for their menma (boiled bamboo shoots) or naruto (fish cakes), and will refuse to use ingredients if their origin of production can't be determined. Their chickens, vegetables, and even their garlic, ginger, and scallions are all domestically produced, really demonstrating their particularity with ingredients.
U: They have 16 counter seats in addition to 4-person tables as well
W: They're open as late as 4:00 am every morning, so you can party all night at a nomikai (drinking party)!
U: They're known as the closer (as the final stop to drinking parties where groups will often visit multiple stores to drink) ramen aren't they. I wonder if Count WOW's pot belly has them to thank?
W: Hmph, t-this is my usual appearance!
Address: 1-7-11 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
Monday-Thursday and Sunday: 11:30am～10:00pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am～0:00am
6. Itasobaya Kaoriya Soba Restaurant
U: Gosh, I'm starving. I was shopping and forgot to get lunch.
W: Ah, I know the perfect place for you then. It's a fancy soba restaurant (buckwheat noodles) that's open for lunch until 4:00 pm.
U: Oh, this is very nice! The interior has a warmth to it, it'd be great for a date. But today, I'm looking for something a little more filling.
W: Now now, you really mustn't underestimate this place. You can eat as many servings of free seasonal takikomi gohan (rice seasoned and cooked with various ingredients and seasonings) as you like! The soba noodles are offered in a hosomen (thin noodle) and futomen (thick noodle) thickness.
U: Even though my waist is thin, I'll take the thick noodles then.
W: (Nobody was saying anything about your waist..)
U: This large, wooden table and these bowls are really nice
W: These bowls are known as Shiragaki wares. The pottery from the Shiga Prefecture is often seen in the tanuki (raccoon) decorations placed in front of soba restaurants.
U: Ah, you mean that decoration that looks like Count WOW
W: W-what! I'm not a raccoon, I'm a Jam-mu!!!
U: It looks like they have some à la carte dishes as well as their soba.
W: That's correct. They have some unique dishes as well, such the soba fried in miso, dashimaki tamago (Japanese-style rolled omelette) (650 yen), and the itawasa (fish cakes served like sashimi on a cedar board) . How about getting some dinner together sometime?
U: ZZZ... Oh, I ate so much I must have dozed off
Address: 4−3−10 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
7. Shusai Soba Restaurant Shodai
U: What's this white floaty thing?
W: Hoho, this is curry udon. This white, fluffy object is made with sweet potato, fresh cream, and the second broth of the soba, and is called...
U: Foam, right
W: WOW! How did you know!?
U: A woman's intuition
W: They say a woman's intuition is quite sharp...!! Peaking out from behind the foam you can see the udon noodles and curry. The udon (thick noodles), combined with the curry and foam, results in a rich blend of flavor. Though the handmade soba is their specialty, many customers find it difficult to decide between the soba and the white curry udon. A certain food review site ranks them in their Top 5000 out of a 880,000 registered restaurants.
U: The interior of the restaurant is coordinated by a first-rate designer, and the atmosphere exudes a sense of class. Being able to watch them make the soba by hand is almost like having front-row seats to a cooking show. Women are suckers for this kind of thing.
W: (I see! Taking notes)
Address: 1-1-10 Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
Closed: During the Japanese New Year period
8. Echigoya Kihachiro: Charcoal grilled dry fish canteen
U: Hey Count WOW, I kinda feel like eating fish more than meat.
W: I've got the perfect teishoku-ya (set-menu restaurant) that mainly serves dried fish for times like these!
U: Himono (dried fish)?
W: Himono refers to fish prepared by evaporating the moisture, which was originally a method used for food preservation.
U: I see. It looks like they have quite the selection on their menu.
W: Hoho, that's right. They're known for having over 20 different options just counting their fish entrees, all of which are grilled on a charcoal grill. The fish is grilled to a sizzling perfection, with the umami (Japanese savory taste) sealed in the juicy inside of the fish, and the outer skin cooked to a delicious crunch.
U: They even have a luxury fish like nodoguro (blackthroat seaperch), quite fitting for a lady like me
W: Even from the outside, you can get a sense of the restaurant's luxurious atmosphere. You can climb up the outdoor stairs to get to the second floor, where your food gets delivered by an elevator. Mind you, the food gets brought to your table by a waiter.
U: What's this advance payment method I see here?
W: Advance payment refers to restaurants where you pay up front at the register when you enter the restaurant. It's a good idea to choose the fish you fancy before entering the restaurant. For those who may not be particularly knowledgeable about fish, you can enjoy discovering new tastes by trying something new!
Address: 1−20−1 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
U: Why's there a restaurant in a place like this? There's graffiti on the walls
W: Indeed, there's actually a curry restaurant on the third floor of the white building you see on the right hand side. Even though it's just a 3-minute walk from the station, it's easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled. If you climb up the narrow stairs, you'll find a little, homely, hideout-like curry restaurant with large sofa seats and an impressive bar counter. They specialize solely in serving chicken curry (850 yen), which is known for the gentle sweet touch onion
U: What's the secret ingredient? Ginger?
W: Quite right, how'd you know! The curry's also not too spicy, and should be light on the stomachs of those who have trouble with spicy foods. They also have a set which includes salad, a drink, a mini dessert for 1000 yen.
U: The proprietress here is super friendly. Isn't she your mother Count WOW?
W: My mother is a Jam-mu, not a human, but the proprietress here is like a mother to everyone
U: It's so relaxing here. Hm (chewing food)? It looks like my curry has a bay leaf in it
W: WOW! You're quite the lucky girl. Customers who find a bay leaf in their curry might get a little something special from the restaurant ♪
U: Mm, I don't dislike surprises like that ♪
Address: 3F 1−13−7 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
Closed: Every Sunday and Public Holiday
10. Nakayoshi Pot Rice Restaurant
W: With a name like "Donabe Takigohan" (rice cooked in an clay pot), this is the restaurant to visit if you're looking for delicious rice! Between the grilled fish set, the nimono (simmered dish) set, and the karaage (deep fried chicken) set, you can enjoy different kinds of traditional Japanese homemade cuisine. The dashi (broth) used for flavor in each set is made from scratch, their vegetables are completely organic and homegrown, the rice is milled fresh every morning, and all of their dishes are free of artificial additives. You really get a sense of their particularity about ingredients. Additionally, they offer free extra helpings of their delicious rice.
U: A restaurant with delicious rice, has delicious food. It's a well-known rule of thumb
W: There are two branches in Ebisu: the main restaurant and the Meiji-dori branch. There are 51 seats in the main restaurant, and 23 seats in the Meiji-dori branch. It looks like the main branch has some more seating available
U: Even with the miso soup and a side dish, the price comes out under 1,000 yen
W: Quite generous, no?
U: Well, I'm planning on always being treated, so it doesn't really concern me
W: (What, I'm paying again today?)
U: "Nakayoshi" is a word meaning good friends. They provide rice that you can tell is delicious just by setting your chopsticks in it, a reprieve from the daily pressures of life, and a sense of anticipation to keep coming back. They say that their name carries the hope that they can continue to treat you as they would a good friend.
Nakayoshi (on Meiji St.)
Address: 3-15-8 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013