around ¥1200 - ¥2000
- 3 Chome-16-3 Nishiogi-Kita, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 3-minute walk from JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station, North Exit
- 03-6913-9370 (usually Japanese only)
- 11:30am - 7:00 pm, Closed Mondays
- English speaking staff available
YUKISUKI NO KUNI
Yakuzen Cuisine to Nourish Your Life
[updated May 2020]
Organic Cafe Yukisuki no Kuni in vegan-friendly Nishi-Ogikubo is a ‘Kitchen pharmacy’ that helps you align your body and mind with Yojo Ryori (“life-nourishing cooking”) such as Yakuzen (medicinal) curry (1800 yen for full size, 1200 yen for half size), deli platters (from 1500 yen), various sweets and Yakuzen tea.
Don’t be put off by terms like ‘medicinal’ and ‘pharmacy’, though, the food is delicious. The ingredients used are carefully selected, naturally grown seasonal vegetables and hormone-free meat (Ezo venison, Daizen chicken & Hokuto pork). With vegan / vegetarian dishes always on offer as well as non-veggie dishes, everything on the menu is gluten free.
**If you want vegan rather than vegetarian, please be sure to specify, as otherwise dairy may be used.
The curry is cooked with 3 kinds of dhal, over 30 kinds of spices and a paste made from 8 different nuts and fruit. It is served with two types of rice, sautéed vegetables (or meat for the carnivores) and pickles. You can get a quick health check-up by you telling the staff the predominant flavours you had from the first mouthful and the after-taste at the end (My breathing is too shallow apparently).
The Deli platter includes over a dozen vegetable dishes all prepared separately, served with a bowl of rice, pickles, Yakuzen soup and a mini dessert. Weekday lunch time it comes with a cup of Yakuzen tea too. The ingredients are chosen to suit the body’s requirements for the current season.
Various sweets are on offer either individually or as a platter, cakes are free from gluten and refined sugar. You are encouraged to take your time and take in the many different flavours.
The owner and chef, Rieko Ido, is also a researcher, lecturer, consultant and TV chef specialising in Japanese folklore, traditional practices (rituals, customs, food, faith, festivals, calendars etc.) and environmental science with numerous publications.
The interior is worth mentioning, too. The floor and counters are all warm natural wood. Walls are plastered with diatomite (diatomaceous earth). The whole building is earthed to reduce radiation and the tap water is purified. All this creates a calm urban oasis where you can unwind. Look out for the water feature at the entrance with water being pumped up from the stream which runs below the premises.
There is reading material available including some in English, so you can pick up many pearls of wisdom whilst enjoying your meal. Some items used in the cookery can also be purchased. Alongside the cafe, various lectures and cookery classes are also held here.
The calm and healthful ambiance of the place and nourishing food is somehow both relaxing and stimulating.