Allow me to set the scene: Monday morning, Shelley and I went for a long run. Our bodies, battered from constant Tokyo walking and the epic Saturday multiple-mountain hike, could probably handle 5 miles, tops. But when we started running, we felt pretty great! (After a sketchy hole-in-the-ground porta-potty stop, that is.) So we stretched it out a little and went for a fantastic 7-miler. We felt characteristically awesome.
The plan was then to go into the city, walk very little, eat a ton, see The Great Gatsby, and eat a ton more at a pre-determined Indian restaurant. What actually happened was going into the city, getting hungry, not finding acceptable food, rushing to a convenience store, packing our bags with a lunch mish-mash, rushing back to the theater, smuggling the food in, stuffing our faces during Gatsby, enjoying Gatsby, stumbling upon the Harry Potter Experience, experiencing the Harry Potter Experience, then heading back toward the Roppongi Hills JR station for that nice Indian place.
But the Indian place just wasn’t there. We looked and looked, backtracked, looked some more, and checked Lonely Planet maybe a thousand times. What worked for Nataraj wasn’t working this time. Maybe the place had closed and no longer existed? In any case, our hunger was approaching Defcon III. Then it reached Defcon III. Things didn’t look good. Maybe this German joint? They had great beer – which Shelley would’ve had for dinner. They had pretzels! – which I would’ve had for dinner. But ultimately, beer and pretzels, we realized, were perhaps not the best choice, nutritionally speaking. We checked the menu at an Egyptian place and got excited when we saw hummus and tabouleh. Our hearts sank when we saw the steep prices. We glanced wildly about. There! A block away! That slightly crappy-looking Chinese place! It says the word Vegetarian in the sign! Who even cares that it’s Chinese! We’re in!
4th floor, Sai Building
Minato, 106-0031 Tokyo
The food turned out to be just as mediocre as we’d guessed. Let's make this brief.
The Vegetarian Salad for ¥580 ($5.84) was good, but the seaweed wasn’t the best thing ever.
Shelley’s Rice with Mixed Vegetables at ¥1180 ($11.87) was… exactly what you’d expect. But to our very kind server’s credit, Shelley did get the brown rice she requested instead of the standard white variety.
And my Tofu in Chili Sauce for ¥880 ($8.85) turned out to be decent! The sauce was of the spicy sweet-and-sour persuasion, and the veggies and tofu tasted alright. The mushrooms, though, were super chewy. In a weird way.
Placated, we paid and left, stumbling back toward the station.
We passed the Indian place.
We didn’t even barf on the sidewalk and run in for better food! Aren’t you impressed? I am. Our self-restraint is amazing.