Family restaurants are not, as a general rule, bastions of culinary inventiveness. Not
unless, of course, you consider concoctions like "tuna-corn-cod roe-garlic-mayonnaise
spag" or "cheese packet steak" to be on the cutting edge of... well,
something. Then again, dishes like these perhaps evince a willingness to try almost
Which is why it's not such a big shocker that from March 18 the family chain Gusto (part
of the Skylark Group) starts serving vegetarian food from Sofa (see review above) at all
their locations. They're starting out small, though with positive feedback it's hoped that
they'll add more vegetarian options to a menu that is woefully in need of a karmic
tune-up. The first two inductees are an Indian curry (tentatively priced at JY680) and annin-dofu
(price not yet decided), which is a Chinese almond jelly dessert. (Since almost all
desserts are already vegetarian this choice is a bit perplexing; on the other hand, I
guess it is vegan.)
Not the boldest of beginnings perhaps, but Skylark will also commence selling vegetarian
food and meals on the Web at www.rakuten.co.jp/sofa.
Here you can order (the site is mainly in Japanese with some English thrown in)
"helthy gifts" such as a non-alcoholic herb drink or Sofa "ham"
(pictured above), or even order meals online.
Now I just hope more of Tokyo's stores and restaurants take note: What busy urban working
people need a lot more of is virtual grocery stores; food we can order online and find it
ready and waiting when we've struggled through our nasty commutes. Keep it coming. Zenya
Gusto Family Restaurants can be found all over Tokyo; for the location nearest you