To celebrate the birth of this blog, I thought it fitting to try out a new vegetarian restaurant. After a quick ride on the Inokashira-sen, we were in bustling Shibuya, crowded with Tokyoites trying to squeeze a few more hours of play time into their weekends.
Arriving at Sofa Vegetarian Cafe, my first impression was that it was more of a take out/ fast food style restaurant. The front window displayed a blown up version of the menu, and the register was directly in front of the door, so I expected them to ask us to order at the front. Instead we were instructed to head up to the 2nd or 3rd floor and choose a seat. Up on the 3rd floor, it looked more like a proper restaurant, although my dining companion thought that the plastic server call button gave the place a family restaurant feel.
The menu includes a number of pastas, a few curries, sandwiches, salads, a soup, as well as a few other items like gyoza. I went for a focaccia katsu ("meat" cutlet) sandwich (840¥) and my companion had the lasagna (840¥). While I had no major objections to it, my dining partner was not impressed with the lasagna. When pressed for an explanation, she said it reminded her of frozen food and she could have made something tastier at home. The katsu sandwich, luckily was more of a hit- it was the right amount of greasy, crispy, and I was told, had the texture and flavor of fish.
For dessert, we tried the baked tofu cake (630¥).
It definitely tasted like a vegan dessert, with a light tofu flavor and not too sweet. It certainly wasn't the most delicious tofu cake I've ever tasted, but it was pleasant end to the meal.
menu: main menu has English, specials menu in Japanese only, vegan items clearly marked with a V,
O means oriental vegetarian (no garlic...)
おすすめ / recommendation: focaccia katsu sandwich
good points: convenient location, cheap
bad points: decor and ambiance could be better, seats are quite close together
how to get there: When you exit from JR Shibuya Hachiko-guchi, directly in front of you (across the street) you will see big flashy screens and a Starbucks, (across the street) to the left you will see the 109 building. At the scramble, walk to the left. You will be walking towards 109, but on the opposite side of the road. From there, just walk straight up the hill (Dougenzaka 道玄坂) for a few minutes. Sofa is right by the first traffic light (Dougenzakaue koubanmae 道玄坂上交番前) you will come across, just before the kouban (police box).