Tokyo | ガイア お茶の水 GAIA Ochanomizu
GAIA is a grocery store in Ochanomizu, where you can get a vairety of organic products from the country or oversea. It took me quiet a while to find the place as my phone ran out of power, and of course, shopping was definitely not my purpose of visit. The popular 'macrobiotic' caferia on the third storey is the reason.
Visited: Sep.14th. 2015 (Lunch)
Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Kanda Surugadai, 3 Chome−3−13, GAIAお茶の水店
Hours:11:30～14:30, Closed on weekends and P.H.
On the third floor of GAIA, the dining room can fits about 15 diners at a time. Although only offering one kind of 'daily lunch' priced at JPY 1000, this little hidden jem is quite popular among the Tokyo-cafe-Instagrammers and healthy eaters. The owner of the cafe is a mid-age lady who cooks by herself and handles everything in the cafe alone. I felt like eating at a friend's home and the smell of the food reminds of homecooking.
Free-flow hot tea made with organic brown rice.
The daily set includes a soup, grains, and assorted side dishes. Very macrobiotic style, which is currently a diet trend in Tokyo that emphasizes natural ingredients and is heavy on brown rice, beans, and fresh vegetables grown without artificial fertilizers.
The assorted side dishes changed on a daily base. What i had of the day was: two sliced of Japanese apple, deep-fried wheat gluten with soyed mushroom, Japanese green vegetable with sesame, seaweed salad with fermented soy beans, mashed pumpkin carrot with cumin, braised tofu with tomato puree.
I thought the deep-fried wheat gluten was chicken karage before i had it but it is actually vegetarian! Very crispy crust and not oil at all, i even forgot it was not meat. Everything in the plate were very simple and delcious.
Macrobiotic diet focuses on eating whole grains and organic, unprocessed food. I did read a bit about nutrition by myself, i knew the nutrition of white rice is very poor, which is another reason i don't like eating rice. But i don't mind to have whole grains such as this bowl of mixed brown rice with black rice. Every grain was very chewy, topped with a pint of sesame salt and seaweef to enhance the flavor.
This is not a common bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed. See the whole pack of vegetables in the soup: bean sprout, mushroom, tofu, squash...Nutritionous and delicious.
JPY 1000 (no additional charge) for such a healthy, delicious, and filling meal is really a good deal. A lot of people asked me why i eat so much but still so skinny, maybe 'balanced diet' is the best answer to it. I only eat quality food, that's why i focus on eating and writing fine dining restaurants but not street food; also, i am a plant-based eater if i don't eat out. I alway enjoy this kind of light and nourisihing food :)