Cover charge (w/ free side dish) ¥300, Drinks from ¥500, Main dishes from ¥800, Darts (1 game) ¥100
- 2-Chome-20-3 Nishiogi-minami, Suginami City, Tokyo (B1)
- Distance from Station:
- 4 minutes on foot from JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station, south exit
- 5:00pm – 12:30am (Shortened hours during the State of Emergency)
- Japanese and English available, with some Indonesian and Malay
A Wild Combination: Vegan, Darts, Music, Wrestling, and Drinks
[published March 2021]
When Darts and Vegan Bar Meteora opened in February 2020 in the South Shopping District of Nishi-Ogikubo, there was a note at the entrance: “We love heavy metal & WWE but we’re not scary at all! It’s a friendly bar, please feel free to pop in”. This sums it up nicely. It is actually far from scary, it’s a very friendly bar, kind to humans and the planet. Probably the healthiest bar in town too!
Here you can enjoy vegan food and a wide choice of drinks, play darts, watch (and request) videos of 80’s bands (mostly heavy metal), discuss wrestling or music, even pick up one of several guitars if you fancy strumming a tune.
Walking down the steps, you’ll find the bar surprisingly spacious and airy even though it’s in the basement.
‘Meteora’ is named after a wrestling technique with a logo homage to Mötley Crüe, its deep blue and red theme echoed in the décor of the interior. There is seating for about 10 at the bar counter and 9 in the corner seated area. There is also a small area for acoustic or simple live music. The music videos on the large screen are not too loud but provide a nice background.
The proprietor Minako-san has been vegan for many years, she became familiar with vegetarianism and veganism through music magazine interviews with musicians in her teens. Actually a few metal musicians are powered by vegan food: Bill Ward and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath; frontman of Napalm Death, Barney Greenway, among others.
Later on, having lived in Bali and the U.K., gradually she realised that the vegan diet suits her in many ways. Most of the vegan eateries tend to close early in the evening but being more of a night person, she wanted to create a place she can enjoy drinking, eating and having fun at night.
The food is entirely plant-based, aiming to use pesticides-free, Japanese produce wherever possible. No MSG or white sugar are used. Not only is it all vegan, but all the food is also free from Gokun (five pungent roots to be avoided in Buddhism – onion, leek, shallots, garlic, garlic chives) which means it caters for strict Buddhist vegetarians, too!
She finds vegan cooking very exciting, unlocking the unlimited possibilities of the restricted ingredients. All the dishes are so flavourful, making you forget that it’s all plant-based and no garlic or onion and yet not salty at all unlike typical bar foods, thanks to her clever use of Japanese dashi and spices. They are enjoyed by meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike.
Dishes are made from scratch, miso and some sauces are homemade by the proprietor. Nibbles at ¥400 include in-house roasted nuts, pickles and miso-marinaded tofu. Side dishes (¥600) include Green Gyoza – the wrappers are made with komatsuna (Japanese spinach-like greens, rich in Vitamins and iron) and filled with soy meat and cabbage, Tempeh Goreng – flavoured with spices and kombu dashi as well as French fries cooked in olive oil.
For the main dishes (¥800) there’s currently a choice of Aubergine Keema curry which has a tomato-based sauce with a delicious blend of spices; Over-rice with soy meat and an intriguing mix of beans and vegetables topped with tomatoes and original soy mayonnaise. It’s a very popular dish for both veggies and non-veggies or Gapao rice – deliciously gingery with tofu “scrambled egg” on top.
If you prefer to Takeaway, you can choose from the Over-rice, Gapao rice, Keema curry and side dishes. There is a ¥30 discount for takeout customers bringing their own containers.
The wines are all organic vegan, and there are craft beers as well as the usual alcoholic drinks you see in bars including, gin, rum and Jack Daniel’s of course! You can have vegan cocktails, too– the rum & soy milk tasted surprisingly great!
Some of the drinks are homemade by Minako-san: Vintage Umeshu plum wine using black sugar dates from 2010. There are original soft drinks as well, refreshing sparkling Meteora Enzyme Ginger Ale and Enzyme Lemon & Lime drink. These drinks may sometimes come with black and white polka dot and stripes paper straws inspired by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe! Java tea and pu’er tea are also available.
The amazing Phoenix darts machine allows you to compete against your mates or other players around the world. It is suitable for anyone from beginner to professional level. After a round or two of darts, stretching the muscles, enjoying delicious nutritional dishes and some drinks, you feel rather refreshed and even healthier when you are heading home!
Vegan bar Meteora opened in mid-February 2020 during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and it must have been a very difficult journey. It is to be hoped that things will get back to “normal” very soon for people to enjoy this bar and many exciting future events set to take place. During the current State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic opening times are restricted to 5:00PM until 8:00PM with no alcohol served after 7PM. Customers should wear face masks except when eating and drinking. Hand sanitiser is available at the entrance.
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