Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2007
A few months ago, a buddy called up and said he wanted to start eating healthier. He was getting married, see, and was looking for a place to “eat more greens,” preferably near Roppongi. It’s a safe bet that this question has been posed many times before, and the folks behind central Azabu-Juban’s new veggie joint just got tired of hearing it. Thus was born Eat More Greens, the area’s first and only restaurant with an entire menu of meals that are meat-free, delicious and eminently affordable. In the words of Bush 43, it hits the trifecta. After browsing the precious website (sample quote: “Daily use of people who live in Rorwarestosaid and yeast village of NY”), we set off toward the backstreets of Azabu-Juban.
Upon arriving we joined our lovely dining companion, who had been basking peacefully in the sunlight streaming through the floor-to-ceiling glass. Around a third of the nearly three dozen seats were occupied; no one was keen to brave the heat on the outdoor patio. Indoor seating options include mainly tables for two, which can be joined together for larger parties, as well as five counter seats overlooking the open kitchen. The walls are neatly plastered with posters, while the far wall features a blown-up photo of a picturesque New York City crosswalk… perhaps somewhere on the Rorwarestosaid.
While browsing the menu, we sipped on fruity and refreshing Vida Organica Chardonnay (¥580/¥1,800/¥2,900). The lunch menu features just four options—two of which change daily—and we settled on the “taco rice” (¥1,200) and seasonal vegetable curry (¥950). Each course included a choice of organic coffee or tea, and in this case no ordinary tea would do. Eat More Greens imports and serves Ceylon black tea (à la carte, ¥500), grown in Sri Lanka.
The dishes arrived with admirable speed, and were pleasantly daunting in scale. We had to ask a somewhat confused waitress to add another table to accommodate the food and growing number of glasses containing wine, water, tea and coffee. Is gluttony still a sin if everything is organic and vegan?
Only slightly embarrassed, we began with the taco rice, here a colorful take on Okinawa’s favorite faux Mexican dish. The ingredients were piled high, and included avocado, homemade veggie “meat,” lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and jalapeños atop
a hearty serving of whole-grain sekihan red rice. Delicious—and filling. The only missteps were in the roasted potatoes with white sesame seeds (too cold) and the (three) tortilla chips.
The curry was amazing from the first bite, which exploded with the tastes of bell peppers, lentils, zucchinis and tomatoes. This was served with rice and a crisp half-salad.
For dessert (included at lunch), the server emerged with a tiny dish of chilled, creamy azuki sweet beans, topped with granola and fresh berries.
In addition to foreigner favorites like hummus with pita bread (¥580) and pizza (from ¥1,100), Eat More Greens offers many of its lunchtime dishes for dinner as well—and, amazingly, doesn’t even jack up the price. For a restaurant in Azabu-Juban, that alone makes it worth its weight in soy.