To take root in Kagurazaka. With this sentiment incorporated into its name, “ARBOL” — the Spanish word for “arbor” — is a unique, naturally styled restaurant in a residential house神楽坂に根付くように。そんな思いが込められたスペイン語の “樹” を意味する「ARBOL」(アルボール)は、一軒家のユニークな自然派レストランだ。神楽坂の風情を感じさせる細い石畳、兵庫横丁の階段を降りた先にある、ホン書き旅館で有名な「和可菜」の手前にある。連日、予約であっという間に席が埋まっていく。その理由は、屋上菜園を持つレストランという興味本位からだけではなさそうだ。






Text: mina
. Down a distinctly Kagurazaka feature of a narrow stone path, and beyond the Hyogo Yokocho stairs, ARBOL is located right by the “Wakana” inn, a famous lodging for writers. ARBOL’s reservations are always full, and not only because of its curious rooftop vegetable garden.

In order to offer fresh and safe cuisines, ARBOL owns contract farms in Tochigi, Hida-Takayama, Kyoto, Fukushima, and elsewhere. Every morning at 5 am, the owner-chef himself sets off to Kamakura to pick up fresh morning vegetables. While working with friends from various countries during his apprenticeship in Australia, the owner-chef Mr. Yoshida came to realize that cooking has no boundaries, and should be more liberal. From there, Yoshida-style original cuisine was based on fresh vegetables and ARBOL was established.

One of its popular dishes is “Kamakura Taro and Gorgonzola Cheese Gratin” (950 yen). By using the “grandchild” corm instead of the “parent” root section, the taro has a thick, glutinous consistency and its mild taste harmonizes with the rich Gorgonzola sauce. The staff cultivates rooftop garden’s vegetables such as turnips, radishes, fava beans, arugula and 10 types of herbs for use in the restaurant’s kitchen.

The rooftop garden is not the only unique feature here. Upon searching for delicious ingredients all over Japan, ARBOL came across Roppaku Kurobuta pork. Fed on satsumaimo (sweet potatoes), even the pork’s fatty meat has sweetness. The meat fiber is fine enough that cooking it medium rare is enough. In addition to the Japanese wines, beers, and umeshu that are available at ARBOL, 10 wines from different countries are also offered at a per bottle price of 2,900 yen. This is a popular choice as well.

The house has the name “Yoshida” on its doorplate. After you take your shoes off and enter the residential restaurant, what appears before you is a large dining table, an open kitchen, sofa seats, and terrace seats. It is a space that allows you to view smiling diners’ faces from anywhere. Dinner is also available à la carte. For those who cannot finish the generously portioned course dinner, leftovers from the earthen-pot paella can be taken home as onigiri.

Address: 4-7 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 17:00-24:00
Tel: 03-6457-5637

Text: mina
Translation: Makiko Arima

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