It’s the style of restaurant I’d love to open and the style of restaurant that would fit perfectly in Greece (especially in Athens since something similar but less “designed” can be found in many villages in Greece’s countryside); the idea seemed so good that I thought it would be worth putting it out there, so that someone makes it happen. That a place like this exists in one of Tokyo’s most loud and active nightlife scenes, Roppongi, makes it even more unique and characteristically Japanese.
It’s called “Roppongi Nouen” and although the website is only in Japanese, even from the pictures alone you can understand what it is all about: they overemphasize on the element of nature, especially in regards to the materials used. And it’s true: what makes this particular restaurant exceptional is that the ingredients in its dishes go directly from production to consumption since a good part of them are produced right there (yes, in the heart of the world’s largest metropolis!) And those that aren’t, come from farms the restaurant owners have a personal relationship with and can personally guarantee the quality of their produce.
“Roppongi Nouen’s” quality is centered around clean cultivation/growing: all their ingredients are produced without preservatives or pesticides and under the strictest rules for biological growth; one would expect that this would be the norm in Japan but strangely enough (?) it isn’t. But in this rather small and medium priced restaurant there is big emphasis on this; to the extent that the owners invite, once a month, some of the producers they work with to talk with the clients and explain to them why their products are the best possible. And of course, the staff will happily do the same for the products that come from their micro-farm.
I read somewhere that “Roppongi Nouen” did so well that the owners are preparing another one in some other area of Tokyo; this is very encouraging because it shows that my fellow citizens of late have started appreciating the value of true quality eating. And knowing that my real compatriots already know that, I’m waiting to see something similar in Athens –if not the next time I’m there, certainly the one after that!