I will be recommending a few Muslim-friendly restaurants that serve halal food or have a halal menu. I was very excited to write about this as I’ve been getting requests from Muslim readers to do a guide on this for some time now! I would be so happy if more Muslim visitors are encouraged to travel to Tokyo as the city is really getting more and more convenient in terms of halal choices and Muslim friendly facilities!
Tokyo Metro Guide
And to help travelers navigate Tokyo better, Tokyo Metro has placed a Tokyo Metro Guide with Subway Map in their stations that is available in different languages.
In the guide booklet, you can find a complete subway route map, all the major sightseeing spots complete with the nearest subway stations, recommended sightseeing plans and other useful information.
Ginza Station (G09/M16/H08)
(Directly connected to Ginza station C9)
The first halal spot I’d like to recommend is Itsuki Tendon, a Tendon (Tempura rice bowl) specialty shop located in Ginza.
If you live in Singapore, you may have heard of it as they have a branch in Tanjong Pagar. Yes it is the same! ^^
Ginza Itsuki has obtained a halal sticker from Halal Gourmet Japan, and it’s extremely affordable too!
They have 3 main dishes, and all of them are halal.
Upon seating, we received a warm welcome from the friendly restaurant staff. The napkins given to us all have handwritten messages on it – “Thank you for visiting us”. How sweet.
I also observed their omotenashi (the ultimate Japanese hospitality in making extra effort for the guests to have a memorable time!) further when I saw this sign – it says “Please use the plate beneath”.
I asked the shop manager why is it so, and he said that the first plate might have dust on it, so to ensure top-notch hygiene, customers should take the second plate onwards. That’s beyond thoughtfulness!!
I ordered their most premium menu – Tokujyo Tendon (Special Tendon) at 1500 yen, which includes Japanese snow crab, anago (sea eel), prawn, chicken, soft-boiled egg and 4 types of vegetables.
It also comes with chawanmushi (Japanese steamed egg custard, it was soooo good!!), miso soup and free flow pickles.
All that for only 1500 yen. I was telling the restaurant manager that they are charging way too little for such a luxurious, hearty meal, not to mention in such an upmarket district, Ginza.
Look at those overflowing tempura toppings!! Those alone are super filling so if you are a small eater, it might be a good idea to ask for less rice.
My favorite tempura was the crab stick, of course, so flavorful! The soft-boiled egg was a pleasant surprise as I bit through the crispy batter to reveal the golden, perfectly runny egg yolk. Very yummy!
If you are in a relaxing mood, you can order the halal Choya Plum Soda to go with your meal.
If you love seafood, I’d recommend to just go for the Special Tendon. Super value for money!
Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station (M10)
(4 min walk from Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station Exit 2)
Muslim ramen lovers will rejoice! I was sooo happy to discover this place, as I now can proudly tell my Muslim friends that halal ramen in Japan is just as delicious as the non-halal version.
This humble little ramen shop is a short walk from the Shinjuku-gyoemmae station. The name Ouka means “Flowers of cherry blossom”, and the name alone gave me a warm feeling already.
You order your ramen the typical way – through the ticket machine. They have quite a number of options, but basically you can choose between the regular halal ramen, the spicy halal ramen, or vegan ramen, and choose extra side dishes or toppings if you like.
There’s also a Premium Halal Wagyu Ramen if you feel like giving yourself a luxurious treat, although the price is quite steep.
I was served by a super friendly Muslim staff from Indonesia. We ended up speaking in Bahasa, so Malaysians/Indonesians would feel very at home here!
Even the wet paper towel is halal!!
Jeng jeng jeng!! Here’s my Spicy Halal Ramen set! It comes with a huge bowl of ramen, grilled chicken and half egg on the side, and a bowl of rice for you to make your own Ochazuke at the end. I also ordered their popular Tsukune (chicken meatball).
To be honest, I used to think that the halal version of Japanese food would taste less delicious or authentic as they have to compromise on the ingredients. But I was so wrong. This spicy halal ramen, was one of the best ramen I’ve had in Tokyo so far. I was beyond amazed. The broth was extremely rich and addictive, while the spiciness added an extra kick to the whole flavor, although it was really a tad too spicy for my noob level. You may order it less spicy in advance if you are not one of those with an iron tongue.
Surprised, I asked the shop staff what the soup stock was made of. They told me they used a blend of fish stock, konbu, mushroom and also wagyu. It was a medley of umami dancing on your taste buds.
Tip: Remember not to finish your soup!! After you have enjoyed your ramen, pour the leftover soup over the rice served, and add a spoonful of Katsuo Dashi Powder, and you have bowl of Ochazuke to end this perfect meal.
Albeit the slightly above-average pricing, I would recommend this to not just Muslim visitors, but everyone who loves ramen. I know I’d love to go back!!
Google Map Route:
Roppongi Station (H04/E23)
(10 min walk from Roppongi Station Exit 2)
Even if you have not been to Gonpachi before, chances are you might have actually seen it.
Yes, it is the izakaya made famous by the movie Kill Bill.
You could say that it is more of a tourist spot than a dining place.
The restaurant oozes with atmosphere. It’s really as if you have just walked into the Kill Bill scene.
It’s nostalgically rustic with the use of wood, stone and bamboo.
Gonpachi isn’t a halal restaurant per se, but they do have a halal course menu, for which advanced booking is required.
Here it is!
In case you are wondering, here’s their halal food policy.
I was there during non-peak hours, and I did not make any advance booking, but the chef was very accommodating to serve a few halal dishes that were available at that time. I was very grateful for that.
Here are some of the halal choices: chicken and beef skewers, grilled mackerel and a vegetable appetiser platter.
I have also ordered other things from the non-halal menu.
Such as my favorite shishitou skewer.
And the Foie Gras skewer which was amazing. It was topped with grilled strawberry drizzled with balsamic vinegar, which seemed a little strange as I am not a big fan of fruits in my savory food (such as pineapple in pizza/pear in soup etc), but this was a perfect match.
Google Map route:
Please share with me too, if you know other halal restaurants that are worth a visit! I would love to try them out and add them to my list.
I know that some of you are probably waiting for a shopping post! Yes, Tokyo fashion is up next. Have you ever walked into a vintage fashion store with so many stylish finds that are so unique you won’t see them anywhere else? Stay tuned for the next post!
For more info on Tokyo Metro, check out: