Monday, 12 December 2011


Organic Vegan restaurant 

It's been a while since I've added a new restaurant review to the blog, so when I had a rare Tuesday off a few weeks ago, I figured it was a perfect opportunity to try out a new place.  I met up with a friend in Shibuya, and we initially headed over to Vegan Healing Cafe, only to find it closed.  This is the 3rd time I've gone during supposed opening hours and found it closed.  Does anyone know for sure if it is still open?  The website is up and running, and it seems like everything is fine.  Do they just keep erratic hours?

Lunch venue plan B required a quick ride on the Denentoshi line over to Sangenjaya.  A quick walk from the station found us stepping off the noisy, highwayside sidewalk, and into a little oasis of hippie vegan calm of Ohana.

We were pretty hungry but not particularly excited by the (Japanese only) menu.  As far as I could decipher, the lunch menu choices consisted of an onigiri (rice ball) plate (780¥), a soup set (Tuesday's was a white stew with beans) with bread (880¥), a curry plate (880¥), or the daily plate served with rice (980¥), which was featuring white stew with beans.  My friend and I decided to share the soup/ bread set and the onigiri plate, as curry is a too often used fallback for the hungry vegetarian or vegan dining out in Japan.

If I had to sum up Ohana's food in one word, I would say it was nice.  The meals were simple, wholesome, and tasty enough.  It was nothing mindblowing, and nothing that one couldn't fairly easily make at home.

The dessert plate (480¥) we ordered, a little piece of chocolate cake, and a slice of (if my memory serves me correctly) banana and ginger loaf didn't pack the decadence I hope for in a dessert.  They reminded me more of the vegan banana bread I often bake for a healthy-ish at work snack when I am trying to avoid junking out on cookies and other tempting goodies.

Overall, our meal at Ohana was pleasant enough, but I can't say I'll be making any special trips to Sangenjaya to return.  I could see eating there sometimes if I happened to work or live close by, or perhaps it would be a nice stop for a traveler tired of heavy restaurant food.  

How to get there: From Sangenjaya station (on the Tokyu Denentoshi line and Setagaya line), take the south exit.  Setagaya-dori and Route 246 merge in a Y shape right at the station, so you want to head along Route 246, towards the upper left arm of the Y.  Ohana is just a couple blocks away from the south exit.

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