If it weren’t for the bright pink flamingos at the entrance, you could blink twice and miss this hole-in-the-wall eatery. Tucked away inside Laforet Harajuku, Chipoon joins the steadily increasing list of Tokyo restaurants helping the city become more vegan-friendly. TW recently popped by for a late lunch to sample their vegan, Muslim-friendly, MSG-free dishes – and even our non-vegan palates weren’t disappointed…
While their menu is simple, it offers flexibility. If you’re in the mood for noodles, you can choose from four different ramen dishes. We tried the standard seasonal vegetable and the tantanmen with soy cheese and both were very flavorful, with the latter offering a satisfying level of spice thanks to its pinch of sansho pepper (sensitive mouths and stomachs beware). The portions are smaller than your standard ramen, but still managed to satiate our hunger.
Chipoon also offers a variety of hamburgers and we decided to take a bite out of the yuba burger. Now, you might not think that tofu skin could offer the same satisfaction in taste and texture as a beef patty, but it’s surprisingly firm and chewy, and the flavor is enhanced with a generous coating of tianmianjiang (sweet bean) sauce.
On the menu you’ll also find tidy parcels of delicious vegetable dumplings. And for dessert, don’t miss the maple syrup almond tofu: sweet and milky in consistency and taste – but without any milk. We loved the soft yet distinctive almond taste and the maple finish.
What to drink? Their ume syrup water is the perfect partner to Tokyo’s mild and sunny summer weather. It’s sweeter than your average flavored water, but still well balanced so it doesn’t overpower the refreshing sensation.
For Chipoon’s contact details, go to our Concierge listing.
Photographs by David Jaskiewicz