|This building! Head up to the 2nd floor.|
On Sunday we paid a long overdue visit to Loving Hut. Despite being impressed with this place the first time I went there, around 2 years ago, I never find myself in the Yotsuya-sanchome neighborhood. I realize this is quite a ridiculous excuse, as it's literally a 5 minute subway ride from Shinjuku.
In the mood to take a little walk, we hopped off the subway at Akebonobashi station. That area has nostalgic value for me, as the Ace Inn Hostel was my original Tokyo homebase, back when I was night bussing up from Mie for little weekend hits of urban life. Walking those streets I can still feel traces of those Tokyo butterflies, and it reminded me how lucky I am to call this amazing city home.
On the way we found an alcohol vending machine, which seem to be becoming less common these days.
|Booze vending machine! And yes, that is a zebra print dress I'm wearing. A-chan calls it my Osaka obasan dress, which is not a compliment.|
The first to arrive was a delicious bowl of soymilk ramen topped with green onion and ground mock meat (650¥). It had a lovely, rich flavor, though I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more vegetables involved.
Next came the zen tanpin* (500¥), a slab of mock unagi on a bed of rice. Though I can't compare the taste to real unagi (as I've never tried it), I found this dish reasonably tasty, but a definite third place to the two other yummy meals we ordered. As the name suggests, this can also be ordered as part of a meal plate.
My favourite of the three was the veggie burger plate (1000¥). The very tasty, though little, burger is accompanied by an assortment of sides: a soup, a salad, pickles, a tiny side of curried vegetables, a piece of vegetable korokke and a few bites of dessert.
Loving hut is a small place with just a few tables and lunch bar type seating along the windows and back wall. The interior is clean, bright, and homey, with little grannyish touches like handmade fabric cozies for the napkin dispensers. You'll find copies of vegetarian magazines and other animal loving books, and perhaps not to everyone's liking, a (rather unobtrusive!) video looping religious vegan propaganda playing softly in the background.
Would it be too cheesy of me to say that I feel the love that goes into running Loving Hut? From the decor to the carefully prepared, healthy meals, it's clear that a lot of heart goes into the finished product.
|See what I mean by grannyish touches? I love the wallpaper in the washroom.|
*tanpin (単品 or たんぴん）means a single item or à la carte. When ordering an item that can be ordered with or without a set, this is a useful word to know.
おすすめ / recommendation: veggie burger plate
good points: cheap, healthy, delicious vegan meals, cute decor, easy to find
bad points: the religious element may not be everyone's cup of tea, big eaters may find the portions a bit small
address: 6-15 2F Yotsuya Sanchome, Shinjuku-ku
how to get there:
Take the Marunouchi line to Yotsuya Sanchome station, and use exit 4. From the exit, head slightly to the left (walk past Bakery Cafe Antendo). Take a left at the first corner, and you'll see Loving Hut on your right on the second floor.