By ZHIYUN DU
Photo by Zhiyun Dun
The most famous restaurant in Komaba is, for sure, Hishidaya.
It’s been introduced on TV programs, discussed among students, and even recommended by professors in lectures. Every lunch or dinner time, if you walk along the Komaba Shouten-Kai road, it would be unusual not to see a long line waiting outside the small restaurant, each person leaning to have a peek on the daily menu written on a blackboard.
The menu is reasonably-priced: with around ¥1300, you can enjoy the teishoku¹ set with a great volume that surprises almost every first-time visitor. In the set, along with the main dish, rice and miso soup, my favourite is the small plate of pickled vegetables, the most refreshing appetizer you can imagine. Compared to the most popular dish, grilled pork with ginger, I personally prefer the set of stir-fried maguro fish with scallion the most. The maguro² is packed with flavor and very chewy, combined perfectly with the scallions that are zesty yet not overpowering.
The restaurant always fills up quickly, and the service doesn’t really match the quality of the meals, but it would be nice to snag a table and enjoy a filling dinner with your friends. ('Watch out, in case you haven't finished your report for your professor: you may also find them lining up outside for your seat.)
2. Tiramisu Homemade:
Photo by Zhiyun Dun
When talking about tiramisu, you may imagine something mushy and saccharine, only tasting like a conglomeration of artificial cream and sugar. Yet Tiramisu Homemade is anything but!
The marshmallow-y cream has a smooth texture, and forms a great balance with the cocoa powder on the top. The delicious taste progresses from bittersweet to purely sweet to tart. Bonus point: after having the desert, you can also bring the small glass container home as a gift. Bonus bonus point, just next to Tiramisu Homemade, there is another dessert shop, IL Bignè, that sells great gougères³.
3. Le Ressort:
Photo by Alexine Castillo Yap
Everytime I pass this bakery, the smell of croissants from the window always makes me mouthwatering. My favourite bread is the earl grey-flavored one with chocolate chips embedded inside. Though a little bit pricey, sandwiches there are also excellent choices for lunch.
Other than the above three, there are many great restaurants and shops hidden in the street corners of Komaba. There is a tiny café which I cherish as my own secret garden and am not willing to divulge here in fear of letting too many people know. So, if you are a gourmand, or just want to kill some free time, tap the restaurant label on your Google Maps app while wandering around the streets next time; there may be some concealed delicacies waiting to be discovered by you.
¹ set meal
² Japanese term for tuna fish
³ cream puffs