It’s fair to say that I have been to a wide range of international restaurants in Tokyo recently. Of course there are many, many French, Indian, Italian, Thai, Spanish restaurants among other popular ones but I have been seeking out the rarer ethnic places and one such place was ‘O Village’ in Ikebukuro which my girlfriend and I visited on one wet Sunday back in September. With CNN blaring out of the TV screens the very nice, chatty owner greeted us and was only too happy to answer our basic typical questions about the place.
O Village is actually a Cameroon and Jamaican bar & restaurant which serves up some very cheap 500 yen lunch meals such as peanut-flavored fish and chicken curry and staple North African dish couscous. And yes I do know that Cameroon is actually in West Africa.
Until they burst onto the football scene at the Italia ’90 World Cup Finals Cameroon were very much an unknown entity but boy did we know about them by the end of that tournament! Despite qualifying for many world cup finals’ since then they have never lived up to the exploits of Roger Milla, Oman Biyick and co in 1990. The Lions, as they are known, were a hit with the public at that tournament and will always have a special place in my heart too. Thankfully though they never quite made it past England in the quarter finals but they didn’t half give us a scare.
As you might expect the cheap-eats (there are four in all) are not so filling so we had a couple of other home-style cooking dishes of which one really stuck out! That was the Crocodile BBQ set (the menu also features a BBQ rabbit set) which seemed a little over-priced at 1500 yen but then again how freely available is crocodile in this country?! To be fair, it was very nice albeit a bit rubbery and quite chewy and I don’t really know why I never tried it whilst travelling around Australia which is perhaps the most famous place where crocodiles are concerned.
The bar is overlooking a street running parallel to the overly-crowded Sunshine Street and its 3rd floor location in the Dai-go Nakamura Bldg at 1-22-13 Higashi-Ikebukuro offers a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping areas nearby.