I’m not a vegetarian but I do love my vegetables. And I’m even more willing to consume them when they’re presented to me in a unique way.
Enter Re:gendo, a charming cafe in an old Japanese home in the western Tokyo suburb of Nishi-Ogikubo. Unless you’re a fan of ramen or anime, there’s not much to bring the average visitor to Nishi-Ogikubo. But with the cafe being a quick five-minute jaunt from the station, this makes a good stop for those sightseeing along the JR Chuo Line.
Re:gendo offers two lunch sets – a vegetarian sushi option and a vegetarian (I’m fairly certain) rice ball – or omusubi – option. Both are served as part of a set (or teishoku) and will come with lots of little extras, such as miso soup, pickled vegetables, and a few types of salads. On my visit, both my dining companion and I went with the vegetable sushi sets, and were treated to uniqye sushi toppings such as fresh strawberry, kabotcha pumpkin, pickled eggplant and mushroom. The set was more than filling, though we did manage to save a bit of room for the small selection of desserts on offer. The sets run ¥1500 (without dessert), which is quite a good deal for the quality of the food and the setting.
While dining space takes up half of the house, the other half is devoted to a zakka, or shop. They seem to carry a carefully curated selection of quality goods – hand-crafted utensils, soaps and homemade condiments, woven textiles and ceramics. Leave a bit of time to browse – even if you don’t buy, the presentation of the goods is admirable.
Re:gendo is popular, even on weekdays, so it’s advisable to book ahead. If you don’t, try showing up as soon as they open 11:00, or closer to 14:00 (last order is at 14:30).
For more information, be sure to check Regendo’s website (Japanese only).