My self-appointed mission to seek out and promote all things vegetarian and vegan in Tokyo – Japan has led me to a place called the Botanist.
The Botanist is a cosmetics store that produces shampoos, body washes, nail care, moisturizes, and many more products. Their promise is that all of the ingredients are from raw materials and plants grown in a clean, sustainable environment.
Just above their flagship store in Harajuku Omotesando, they have a little cafe that specializes in vegan/vegetarian food. The atmosphere is calm and relaxing. Wood tables, wood floor, hanging plants. It is the kind of decor you would expect from a cafe that specializes in healthy, sustainable food.
Just like the shop below, the Cafe specializes in healthy food that is responsibly grown. The summer “refresh” menu has just been released with emphasis on healthy skin and seems to be perfectly timed with their skin care products with the same goal.
The menu includes veggie wraps, burgers, pasta, and a range of desserts to fit your mood. It is a very nice “Brunch” style place and it serves the famous Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, which changes color when you pour it into a cup with lemon.
However, a nice atmosphere does not a good cafe make. It really isn’t the best for what you pay for. The food was just under warm and didn’t taste particularly nice. My dish, (which was the veggie Bolognese) wasn’t bad but the vegan Carbonara really wasn’t good. It didn’t taste anything like Carbonara and in my opinion, needs to be taken to the drawing board. Definitely, something I won’t be paying for again.
All in all, A vegan/vegetarian Cafe in Japan is always a good thing and I praise the botanist for contributing to the cause. I do hope that in the future they can look into decreasing their prices or making their food better. Just because restaurants advertise themselves as vegan, vegetarian, healthy, sustainable. Doesn’t mean they have to increase prices by 200%