5 Locations The place You Can Eat Scrumptious Taco Rice in Tokyo
Uncommon is the meal managing to merge the tastes of two totally different cultures and current an edible lesson in geopolitics. That is the fantastic thing about taco rice.
The dish — true to its identify, discovering taco fillings similar to floor beef, shredded lettuce, salsa, tomato and cheese plopped down on rice — captures the combo of Japanese and American tradition prevalent in Okinawa, owing to the USA’ ongoing army presence within the southernmost a part of Japan. Whereas the precise origin and restaurant accountable for taco rice stay debated, most pinpoint 1984 because the 12 months it was created.
Matsuzo Gibo usually will get the credit score, which Stars & Stripes journal writes got here from his need to feed native servicemembers one thing hearty and filling, with rice doing the job higher than a taco shell.
Taco rice grew to become a consultant of Okinawa delicacies because the area remodeled from the backwater archipelago right into a cultural powerhouse within the Nineties. Now, it is a staple of any Okinawan restaurant throughout the nation, to not point out a competition favourite due to its nice style and cheap worth. A pressure hovers over the meals, but it surely’s simple to miss that whereas having fun with the Tex-Mex taste.
If you wish to gorge on this Okinawa favourite whereas in Tokyo, the metropolis has a wealth of choices. A number of the taco rice eating places right here supply scrumptious and even inventive re-interpretations of the dish. Listed below are our absolute favourite Tokyo taco rice superstars.
1. 4649 Taco Rice
What higher place to begin than the primary retailer to carry taco rice to the world past Okinawa? Effectively, that is at the least the lore surrounding 4649 in Nishi-Shinjuku. The shop opened up in 2003 and claims to be the primary “taco rice specialty retailer” to open up exterior of the islands of Okinawa. Unsure if that may really be confirmed, however given the foggy historical past surrounding the foodstuff in query, it is really becoming to let a bit of thriller cling over it.
It sells eight lunch specials centered round taco rice, starting from the basic interpretation to a veggie-loaded choice together with pickles and corn, to a model topped off by a giant gloopy egg. Or you possibly can customise your individual order and add toppings. Stick round for dinner, when the spot transforms into an Okinawan izakaya providing much more regional specials.
2. Tono Cafe
It takes a bit of bit of labor to search out one in every of Tono Cafe’s three places. That is as a result of this taco rice specialist serves the dish from a trio of meals vans, which arrange store in several components of the capital day-after-day. Timing a go to good — or trekking out to it — results in each basic interpretations of taco rice (with a pleasant protein-rich egg positioned on high) and extra inventive takes. The Thai Rooster Taco Rice introduces poultry and a slight fish-sauce taste to additional reimagine the meals’s geographic potentialities, whereas clients may also expertise one other Okinawa staple — spam — through the truck’s Avocado Spam Bowl.
3. Harmonica Quina
Tucked away in Kichijoji’s Harmonica Yokocho, Quina serves up quick and filling taco rice. It is an environment friendly expertise, with clients inserting their order through a kiosk exterior the store, then heading into the quaint restaurant, the place a towering dish quickly arrives. The meals comes quick, however there is not any sacrifice on high quality. Parts are extraordinarily beneficiant too, with even the common dimension offering a considerable amount of Okinawan goodness.
Underneath the heaps of shredded lettuce, the culinary shock in Quina is the avocado that provides a creamy texture. Other than taco rice, there are different Okinawa dishes too. Chances are high you may by no means get tired of the taco rice, nonetheless. Quina has month-to-month particular forms of taco rice, which previously have included goya, omelets and “American barbecue.”
“Tako” means “octopus” in Japanese and also you higher imagine that too has been explored via the lens of taco rice over time. One place to attempt a bowl of tako-taco rice is the charming café and artwork gallery Hattifnatt (with places in Kichijoji and Koenji). Each retailers serve taco rice with tako (octopus) and surprisingly, it really works. They grind it up in order that texturally it is nearer to beef and it really works even higher when paired with chilled tomato and avocado varieties. It additionally options an omelette on high. The high-quality veggies make it additional tasty, whereas the eggs assist create a various mouthfeel when blended collectively.
Other than the meals, Hattiffnat is designed to resemble a scene from a cute storybook, in order that alone warrants a go to.
5. Maddosh! cafe
The homeowners of Madosh! Cafe in Shibuya clearly love avocados. Virtually each providing on the menu makes use of it as an ingredient, from nachos to pizza to the post-meal tiramisu. Naturally, the taco rice choice stands out, due to the avocado within the combine. It tops a mattress of rice and lettuce with meat, cheese and tortilla chips, including plump scoops of avocado to circle round it. Combine all of it collectively and you’ve got one of many strongest entries on this record.