Monday 27 June 2011

T's Tan Tan: vegan ramen in Tokyo station!

vegan restaurant 

I don't even bother going into ramen shops.  The vegetarian in the know can find a decent meal in an izakaya, soba shop, sushi restaurant, and even yakitori (grilled chicken) place, but generally, ramen in a non-vegetarian establishment is a lost cause.

How exciting is it, then, that there is now an all vegan ramen shop in Tokyo station!  Now vegetarians and vegans in transit can enjoy hot steamy bowls of delicious greasy noodles!

On a rare Monday off, I made my way over to Tokyo station, miraculously managed to not get lost on the way to the shop, and ordered up a lunch special.  I opted for the white ramen (on the advice of a friend I requested it less spicy), which comes topped with beansprouts.  The lunch special offers the choice between mock meat karaage or a mini curry, and I opted for the latter.   While the ramen didn't come close to challenging my current favourite (Cafe Proverbs 15:17 in Kyoto) for the top spot, it was yummy and filling.  I would have loved a bigger serving of vegetables in exchange for some noodle volume, but T's Tan Tan's proportions are true to the classic ramen form, with veggies acting as a topping to a big serving of noodles.  It was a treat to get to eat Japanese curry for a change, as Japanese curry is usually another fight not worth fighting (as it will nearly always contain a meat base). I'm a big fan of Indian curry but also enjoyed the sweet, smoother Japanese version.

For dessert, I had a little serving of sweet and simple tofu pudding to finish off my meal.

T's Tan Tan is an interesting place cause the target market is not vegans or vegetarians, but rather health conscious commuters and business people.  The meals are definitely designed with a mainstream Japanese taste in mind (I doubt you'll be finding any genmai here anytime soon).  If you want to get a stress free taste of what regular Japanese people eat on the go, this is a great place to try!


Menu: Japanese only, with photos

おすすめ / recommendation: I haven't tried enough to compare dishes, but the shiro tan tan (白たんたん) was nice.  Apparently quite spicy as is, can be ordered "plain" for less spice.

good points: convenient location if you are passing through or work by Tokyo station, stress free (all vegan), authentic ramen taste!

bad points: tricky to find

how to get there:  T's is inside Tokyo station, in a shopping/ restaurant area called Keiyo street.  Check a map in the station, or ask for Keiyo street at one of the information kiosks.  Look for Uniqlo once you've found Keiyo street.  If you face Uniqlo, you will see a New Days combini on the left, and beside that, an information booth on the corner.  Walk towards the information booth, and turn to the right.  Walk past an omiyage (souvenir) shop, and you will find T's Tan Tan next door.

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  1. Hi Mika!

    Thanks for posting about veg. restaurants in Tokyo, as vegetarian visitors from the US it's incredibly helpful.

    Just FYI: We tried to go to T' Tan Tan yesterday for lunch but couldn't find it -- there seems to be quite a bit of construction don't know if they closed or not..

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I checked with someone on the inside and T's Tan Tan is still open. There is a fair amount of construction going on outside right now but this restaurant is actually inside the station, within the ticket gate area. Finding it can be a bit difficult, though so I'd recommend anyone going for the first time to ask for it by name (or ask for Keiyo Street) at the information booth- there should be English speakers there and they'll probably draw you a map!

  3. I just went yesterday. Your blog was really helpful, thanks a lot.

  4. Thanks so much for this post! Just got back from tokyo& I was so happy to have ramen during my visit. You're directions were thorough & I didn't think I'd need them but after I arrived & realized how massive it was, I was very thankful.

  5. Thanks for this post! I recently returned from a trip to Tokyo and ate here twice. My favorite was the shoyu ramen. It's tough to find ramen without meat in Tokyo so I was very happy to have this article for reference.

  6. Had a great meal here yesterday but it was indeed hard to find. It's just before the escalators on your right side if you go into Keiyo Street. If that was in the directions I think we would have found it faster.

  7. Hi, I've been in Tokyo 2 weeks ago and had an amazing spicy ramen at Tan Tan's by pure chance! I'm dying to get the recipe of it, any chance you can post it here? I'd be grateful forever :)

  8. Hi Anonymousさん, it seemed like a long shot, but I inquired about the recipe with my T's Tan Tan insider friend. Apparently it's top secret! If you do find a recipe that comes close, I'd like to see it!

  9. I'm glad you listed this place. It was great to find veggie friendly ramen during my recent visit. They now have an English translation of the menu.

  10. Oh hey fellow Tokyo-dwelling vegetarian :) I'll have to check this one out; never thought to look in Tokyo station.

  11. The food was definitely really good - thanks for the suggestions! It did take me about 45 minutes to find it while inside tokyo station (as you have mentioned). one tip is to perhaps follow the directions for the Keiyo line and you will find the street there.

  12. We took a trip to Tokyo in Oct '12 and I really appreciated all of your reviews! We found T's Tan Tan much faster, as we brought your directions with us. Please keep up the great work!

  13. Hi Mika! Thanks for sharing this - おいしそうね! I'm considering doing the JET program next year to teach English in Japan, and I've been looking for some vegan restaurants -- because I want to be able to EAT if I'm going to be there for a year!!! So this place is 100% vegan, and no meat/fish used in the broth? Because I've heard that a lot of places say they're vegan/veggie, but will still use fish or meat products in their food....

  14. I went here on my second last day in Tokyo (15 April), and I adored the food. I ordered the shiro tan tan with the mock meat. It was truly fantastic. Laura, there are signs ALL OVER the restaurant confirming that they do not cook with any animal ingredients, so it's 100% vegan all the way

  15. Just ate a T's in July 2013 - delicious!! They did provide a menu in English for us to use - fantastically helpful! I'm vege, and I ate there with my non-vege husband, my vege mother, and non-vege father. We all four had a delicious meal - no complaints from the omnivores.

  16. December 2014 - TTT restaurant still in Tokyo Station. Thanks so much for posting this, it really was amazing. Ask for the English menu, if needed.

    All that said, it took us about an hour to find in the station. I'm from NYC so used to big transportation terminals, but Tokyo station is immense. And unlike the rest of tourist-Japan the signs are not great and there is not a lot of available help. Hopefully these tips will help:

    1) don't even bother trying to find it without a map! so download this map:

    2) referring to the map, TTT'S is at the very TOP of the station, at the Yaesu Main Gate on Keiyo Street as noted. It is right next to the station entrance. So head for that. (as noted, if you entered from another part of the station you will probably have to pay an extra small fare.)

    3) if you find one of the info booths, definitely stop by and get a paper map and more specific directions

    4) it's near the JapanRail PASS EXCHANGE OFFICE (note - not any of the other JR offices) so I would ask people for that. On the map, that office is indicated by a bolded yellow star.

    Hope the above instructions help! It is definitely worth the trip!

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