Alhamdulillah, in only this month (February 2015), I had the opportunity to visit three new halal restaurants in Japan, due to accompany some of my guests who were on vacation here. I am really glad that the growth of Islam in Japan shows promising direction, despite some not-so-good news about Islam that are still airing sometimes in national television stations here. I’m also very grateful that public services in Japan always treat foreigners indiscriminately. However, I know that in some places out there, there are still some difficulties for us to do our religious obligations, but I myself couldn’t thank Allah more that I never be in such condition, and hopefully won’t ever be. Amen.
So far, actually, there were already a lot of halal restaurant in Japan. However, most of them are Indian, Pakistan, or Turkish Restaurants. There are also some Indonesian and Malaysian restaurants of course, but fortunately, recently, many more kinds of halal restaurants open, such as Italian, Chinese, and even Japanese. The more the merrier, right? 🙂
Ok, without further ado, here are my reviews about those restaurants.
Japanese food – 15 minutes walk from Ebisu station, west exit
Fifteen minutes walk for me is not so close, and we also have to pass some small hills to reach this restaurant.
This is the menu that I ordered that time. It is called Japanese Genovese style chicken shiso flavor, price 900 yen. It includes the chicken, a
small bowl of rice, salad, and miso soup.
There are also some wagyu meet menus and they were amazingly delicious. My friend ordered that, the price was over 1000 yen and the size was the same as the rice bowl of the picture above >_< I tried a teeny tiny small bite of the meat, and it did melt inside my mouth (drooling-red).
My other friend ordered a chicken ramen and fortunately this time, the portion was big!
I tasted it also and it was very tasty and authentic. So if you are very hungry at the time you come to this restaurant, I recommend you to try the ramen. Where else we could find halal ramen, right?
Good: the service is good, the waiters are nice, the foods are delicious, and the place is cozy.
Not-so-good: because the location is not so close from the station, and the portions are not so big, all of us already felt hungry again after we were back to the station 😛 Even some of my friends planned to eat again at another restaurant!
Tokyo Chinese Muslim Restaurant
Chinese food – 2 minutes walk from Kinshicho station, south exit
They have sooooo many variations of food you could imagine and most of them are under 1000 yen. I came here with my husband and we took so long to choose the meals. We finally decided to order a kind of chicken menu, a kind of vegetable menu (we chose stir-fried eggplant with their special sauce), a beef skewer, a lamb skewer, and aone portion of their famous vegetable dumpling.
You can spot the different of their rice portion and Ippin’s rice portion, can’t you? And for all of these, we
only have to pay 3000 something yen!
Good: Very near to the station, the portion of the foods are big, taste yummy and satisfying, have many kinds of variations you can choose, and they even have a small praying space. This restaurant is absolutely my favorite and I want to go back since there are still so many foods I haven’t tried yet 🙂
Not-so-good: While we were there, there were only two other guests beside us, and after they finished cooking our orders, the cooks slept on one empty table (when I said slept here means literally laying their body down on the chairs), and the waitress ate on another empty table. I understand that they must be really tired, but I think this was not a very good attitude in front of customers. This is forgivable but I hope they won’t do the same things in the future.
International food – Asakusa station, 50 meters walk from Kaminarimon
This cafe was just open on November 11th, 2014 ago. It is very easy to reach and exactly inside the crowd of Asakusa and Sensoji Temple. Just as its name, (sekai means world in Japanese), this cafe provides not very specific kind of food, so let’s say it provides international foods.
Since its location is inside the main attraction of Asakusa, adding the fact that it provides halal foods, it is understandable that the price is rather expensive for
just a cafe. And unfortunately, they don’t have many variations of menu.
I went here with my husband and one of his friend. So when we were
contemplating thinking which menu we should choose (among those not so many options), we thought that because the price of yakisoba and grilled lamb is the same (1000 yen), the yakisoba must be in a giant portion, and there might be some chops of chicken or meat inside it. But, when it came, not only the portion is so-so, the taste was not exceptionally delicious, and there were only noodles, salt, and paprika inside it. I just wasted my 1000 yen for 250 yen raw noodles I could buy at the supermarket and I could cook by myself!! 😦 T_T
My husband and his friend ordered the grilled lamb with focaccia bread (1000 yen also). I can say that the price is acceptable since the meat portion is quite big and it didn’t smell bad as usual lamb. But acceptable here doesn’t mean that we want to order the same thing in the future (maybe).
We also ordered two kinds of smoothies, strawberry and apple pie, 500 yen each, inside 200 ml glass bottle. I still feel they were pricey for that size, but I did accept it since the smoothies tasted yummy and refreshing. But again, I might don’t want to order it for the second time.
Good: the location is easy to find, the place is cozy and youthful, the service is good, and we thought we met the owner at that time, and the owner was very nice, and he even informed us another halal restaurant around Asakusa. Another good thing is, when we were there, there was a Muslim waitress (she wore hijab). I guessed she’s from Malaysia, and I was right when I talked to her. On her apron, there was a sign with “Sorry, I can’t touch beer” written on it! I really appreciate this detail and I do hope other Halal restaurants will do the same thing from now on 🙂
Still about the waitress, at the first time I talked to her, I tried to speak in Malay language, since I felt we are neighbor, no need to talk in other languages. But she couldn’t reply with Malay, too. Maybe she was surprised or nervous, she looked confuse and in the end only answering with one or two words and very soft voice. On the second attempt, I tried to ask her in Japanese, because I think she must be good in Japanese since she’s working there, right? I was only asking what inside their pizza menu is, but she couldn’t explain in Japanese, too. In the end she answered with English. When she brought our dishes to our table, she looked very confuse where to put the plate, fork, and knife. I can see that she must be a trainee, and I accept her nervousness. I just want to say good luck for her and don’t be afraid of costumer’s questions 🙂
Another not-so-good point of this cafe, there is no detail explanation of what’s inside every menu, and not all menu have picture of them. When I was there, there was a sign of “today’s special pizza”, and “vegetable pizza”, but when I asked the waitress what’s inside the “today’s special pizza”, she said that they only have one kind of pizza. So I find that pizza sign is confusing and they’d better not to write two kinds of pizza if they only have one kind.
However, I want to give my sincere appreciation to this cafe, since they respect the fact that Muslim not only can’t drink beer, but we also can’t touch it. I hope they can improve their services, add some more menu, and add the specialty or their signature to every menu so that even if we have to pay a bit more expensive, we will still feel very satisfy after eating them. I do hope the best for Sekai Cafe in the future! 🙂
So that’s gonna be all for this review. I hope you find this helpful to know more options of halal restaurants in Japan, and I somehow hope the management of the restaurants I mentioned here read this review by accident, so that they can improve their services to the customers 🙂