I’ve only been away from Japan for slightly over two years, and even since my last visit to Tokyo a year ago, a lot has changed in the city. Development has ramped up, perhaps in preparation for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games, and large scale complexes are making appearances in areas of the city that I wouldn’t have predicted.
One such newcomer on the scene is Hibiya Midtown, from the same developers as Roppongi’s Tokyo Midtown complex. In a similar vein, the shops are mostly from the luxury sphere (Lexus anyone?) with a few fun diversions thrown in (like a stationary store, and a small marketplace showcasing Showa-era style goods). But the real treasure of this new complex is its food scene. A fantastic basement food hall and a cluster of restaurants on each shopping level offer a range of diverse choices, with affordable sandwiches or lunch sets sharing space with big-name kaiseki and European eateries.
The one that caught my eye immediately was Revive Kitchen Three. Billing itself as “modern shojin”, the restaurant focuses on vegetable heavy offerings (it’s not totally vegan as egg features in at least one dish) presented as either single plates or a set meal option. I splurged and went for the Ozen set (¥2800), which offered nine individual dishes rice and soup, along with an introductory plate of homemade tofu and a choice of amazake or fruit shochu.
I’m still kicking myself for not taking a photo of the excellent English menu, which detailed the nine individual dishes of the main part of the meal. A Japanese language explanation is provided with the set itself, but if you want to reference what you’re eating, ask them to leave you a menu. What I remember included a three bean croquette with an herb sauce, spinach stalks with a miso walnut topping, and a daikon with a sweet glaze. The egg dish was surprising, with a sour-cream-like sauce that tied the protein and vegetables together. And the included bowl of rice was topped with chunks of delicious sweet potato.
It’s a copious amount of food, and I sadly couldn’t finish my soup or rice. And while the initial price tag may seem a bit steep, the amount of food, the unique flavors and the quality of the vegetables definitely warrant it.
Our party of two showed up right as they opened at 11am, but there were still seats available in main dining area around 11:45, and the half dozen seats along the bar remained completely open when we left just past noon. While popular, there doesn’t seem to be a need to queue, though weekends might be a bit more popular (we lunched on a Thursday).
A quick wander around the complex left me with at least three or four other options I’d like to try, but I can definitely see myself returning to Revive Kitchen Three for a second or third time.