Soba House 大自然 上野店, Taito

Found this while walking around in Taito. Apologies for the potato-quality photo with unintentional sun flares.

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I think it had just opened; we were the first & only ones inside.

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Since I’ve had a soba + tempura meal elsewhere, I decided to try it here too. I still think NishiAnn‘s is better. This style seems more like a beer batter, but it’s hard to tell. It wasn’t very crispy; instead it was soggy and limp. That kind of ruined it for me.

The soba and accompanying soup was normal. I’m don’t care much for pickles generally.

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This was better than the tempura + soba. Can’t remember what it is called though.

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Soba House 大自然 上野店
2-1-14 Kita Ueno
Taito-ku, Tokyo

NishiAnn Cafe, Setagaya

NishiAnn Cafe was beautiful, inspiring, and delicious; you can tell by how enthusiastic my camera became.

It is off the beaten path, and probably better that way. Despite that, I’ll be recommending this to everyone who asks me where to eat in & around Tokyo!

In a way, it is easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. It’s right across the street from a school, not in a busy strip mall or other commercial area. I think that’s part of what makes it beautiful.

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Took a moment for a self-portrait.

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Our host & friend came out to greet us in the front yard patio.

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The cafe is adjacent to a residence.

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Cute outside, cute inside!

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I actually liked the coffee here too.

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Soba with tempura.

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THIS. This was the best tempura I’ve ever had so far. Is it a tempura cake? Definitely coming back for this.

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House-made soba noodles.

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There was a dish with wasabi, daikon, and other seasonings intended to be added to the tempura sauce. It was definitely better together; makes me wonder why I haven’t seen this combination around the states.

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My wife thought these were surprisingly awesome. In the US, these are often overly sweet and lacking flavor. Not the case here. Soft, flavorful from the fruits, and just sweet enough. Made in house, of course.

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Obviously, I’m not the only one admiring its beauty. (Spelled wrong in the magazine though!)

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And the bathroom is clean!

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NishiAnn Cafe
Yubinbango, 157-0076
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Okamoto 1-6-12
http://www.nishiann.com/access/index.html