ELLE magazine was first published in 1945 in France just after the second World War. The founder, Elaine Lazarev, wanted to inspire readers to open their appetites and “just live as happy as you want to be!”. Now ELLE have opened their first ever café, in Tokyo. And it’s a must visit!

The setting

ELLE Café is based in Aoyama in the University of the United Nations campus. At the weekend there’s a farmers’ market in front of the café and Brown Rice by Neal’s Yard is around the corner. You can take the subway to Ometosando station.

The space

ELLE Café’s outside has a minimal, sleek upmarket look. It has high windows with grey and white walls and shutters. Outside there’s a heated terrace with smart black metal tables and chairs. Dogs are welcome in this  section.

Inside is a grab and go café and a seating area with marble topped counters and tables. Lots of plants and flowers are scattered around and the waiters speak very good English.

The little things that make the difference

Around noon the sun shines right through the window which adds an amazing feeling of light to the restaurant.

What we ate

ELLE Café has a diverse menu – they serve meat, fish and dairy, but also plant-based options. The menu is very Western for Japan. We chose the vegan cleanse salad and two of their side dishes- the beetroot hummus and fried sweet potatoes with rosemary. Then we had the strawberry bon bon to finish off lunch. The portions are all a perfect size to share.

The vegan cleanse salad was a mix of avocado, grilled aubergine and zucchini, grapefruits, pomelo, pomegranate seeds, tomatoes, sprouts, pine nuts and romaine salad. We chose the white miso dressing, to give it a Japanese twist, which was a good choice. The salad was light, but had a very fresh taste, because of the citrus fruits.

Next we had the beetroot hummus. It was super creamy and topped off with some roasted chickpeas which added a touch of crunch.

When in Japan, you can’t miss out on their sweet potato skills. The flavour of their sweet potatoes are so different than the ones we have in Europe. These  were perfect golden brown and had a crispy skin. They were still so fresh and sweet.

Last, but not least, we had the strawberry bon bon, which was the only plant based dessert option, so we had to try it.

The first layer was a mix of fresh blended strawberries with coconut milk, followed up with a soy milk whipped cream, a lot of fresh strawberries and another dollop of soy whipped cream – a real guilt free plant based pleasure.

The bill

Vegan cleanse salad  1178¥
Beetroot hummus  864¥
Fried sweet potato with rosemary  648¥
Strawberry bonbon  1944¥

 

 

ELLE Café

5 Chome-51-8
Jingumae
Shibuya City
Tokyo 150-0001,

03-6451-1996
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