Food and drink - Tokyo - Travel | Monocle

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Songbook, Daita

At Songbook, an intimate 15-seat restaurant in Setagaya Daita, Kyoto-born chef Kyohei Nishi applies his deep knowledge of European cuisines to his ever-changing Japanese menu. Expect high-quality ingredients, ranging from Kagoshima capon to kinkan citrus, sourced from around the country and prepared with the aid of a wood fire. The pizzas are another highlight, baked to perfection in the restaurant’s bespoke oven. For post-dinner drinks, head downstairs to Quarter Room, where bartender Soran Nomura has devised a range of art-inspired cocktails.
5-10-7 Daita, Setagaya-ku

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Take-chan, Ginza

Take-chan is located at the heart of Ginza, serving yakitori in a classic storefront along Mihara-dori. The restaurant started as a food cart in 1953 and opened its current location in 1957. The second it opens, regulars can be found at the U-shaped counter, where seasoned hands prepare skewers over a simple binchotan charcoal grill. The menu offers two courses: eight pieces or five. Chefs with more than 40 years of experience cook chicken cuts with simple condiments and skewers of duck with homemade miso sauce. The atmosphere of the Mihara-dori space adds to the charm of this downtown gem.
4-8-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku

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Parklet, Nihonbashi Kobunacho

Freshly baked goods are at the heart of Parklet, an all-day bakery cafe designed to feel like a natural extension of the neighbouring Horidome Children’s Park. Full-height windows look out to the adjacent play area, while families and friends gather around communal tables throughout the day, adding to the lively atmosphere. Prepared in-house, the original sourdough bread is a highlight, while the rosemary scones and pastries provide the perfect match for single-origin brews, roasted by Overview Coffee. For take-home treats, the in-house pantry is lined with original condiments, granola and seasonings, while a selection of merchandise draws on Parklet’s playful characters.
parkletbakery.com

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Good Good Not Bad, Shibuya

Tucked away among the record shops, rock cafes and live-music venues of Udagawacho, Good Good Not Bad is a coffee stand clearly in tune with its surroundings. The menu is overseen by Camelback’s Keitaro Suzuki and includes classics such as the Americano and caffè latte, as well as brownies and cookies. Open from morning until well after dark, the stand takes pride in serving coffee and selling beans until late, making it a worthwhile detour from central Shibuya.
4-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya

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Brillant, Nishi Shinjuku

Dating back to 1980, Brillant is the main bar of the Keio Plaza Hotel, the Nishi Shinjuku landmark known as Japan’s first skyscraper hotel. Under the watchful eye of pioneering designer Riki Watanabe, red-clay bricks were shipped from Scotland to craft colour-saturated interiors that exude warmth and comfort. The bartenders, who have garnered awards both in Japan and overseas, serve up signature cocktails, such as the Akitasugi Gin Gimlet, with deft precision. Settle in at the counter or recline in the armchairs to enjoy the bar’s atmosphere.

keioplaza.com


Images: Kohei Take, Shinichi Ito, Shinya Ichinohe

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