The recent ‘Roads of Arabia’ exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno was a huge success but that’s now come to an end. Those interested in that can read more about it here via our friends at Maction Planet but this post is for those wanting a further fix of Middle Eastern treats in Tokyo. I have tried my best to not just make it about places to dine out at but in a food-obsessed country that isn’t so easy!
1. Zakuro @ 3-13-2 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku – No better place to start than this legendary hideout which serves up daily fare from Turkey, Uzbekistan and Iran. There are belly dance shows in the evening, the lunch deal is amazing and the owner is a bit of an entertainer. More details here
2. Ancient Orient Museum Tokyo @3-1-4 Higashi-Ikebukuro – This fairly spacious museum (600 yen) can be found on the 7th floor of Sunshine City Bunka Hall and features a collection of exhibits from Syria, Iran, Turkey and so on.
3. Mocha Coffee @ 25-1 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku – Tea is actually the more popular choice of drink in Yemen but coffee is grown and owner Maiko imports it to serve up in this greenhouse-like place in the fashionable district of Daikanyama. More details here
4. Shamaim @ 4-11 Sakaecho, Nerima – Famed for it’s all-you-can-eat lunch set, this Israeli is not a buffet spread as such as the dishes are served to you. The starters hummus, pita, falafel and salads are followed by chicken schnitzel, kebabs, fries and majadra (rice with lentils). If you want more you just have to say so and that can all be washed down with some Israeli beer and wine. Desserts including malabi (sweet milk pudding) are also available at any extra cost.
5. Tokyo Camii @ 1-19 Oyamacho, Shibuya-ku – A most welcoming place with free Turkish tea on offer. This place hosts an annual Charity Bazaar event in November each year but is well worth a visit at any other time as it’s interior is very exquisite. More details here
6. Zenobia @ 5-2-25 Hiroo, Hongoku Bldg. B1, Shibuya-ku – This place came highly recommended to me by an expert on Middle East cuisine and it didn’t disappoint. It may be a little expensive and the portions could certainly be a bit larger but the taste more than compensates for that.
7. Bisan @ 2-21-1 Nakajujo, Kita-ku – There are only a couple of Palestine restaurants in Tokyo and this is one of them. It is located quite a way from anything but is was worth the effort to speak with the owner and try a couple of dishes in this cosy little place.
8. Al-Flah Supermarket @ 2-41-2 (4F) Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku – This has been going for 19 years and mostly possesses food and ingredients from South-East Asia and the likes of India and Pakistan but there are some items from Iran and Turkey among others.
9. Hisar @ 1-24-11 Hyakunincho – There are lots of Turkish restaurants and over the last few years there has been a steady increase in the number of Turkish kebab stands. No doubt there are far better than this one but my friend and I were more than happy with the lunch sets (Donner kebab with rice, chicken shish kebab, salad, soup, rice, bread, Turkish tea) we had at this place near Shin Okubo station. More details here
10. Islam Yokocho (Muslim District) @ 2 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-Ku – Over the road from JR Shin-Okubo Station is a street possessing just under a dozen Halal shops and restaurants.
If you have any recommendations which you think should be included here then let me know in the comments or tweet me @tokyofox