The Fine Art of Vegetables Defined

By Christina Kim - March 07, 2016


I have to admit; I did not do any research on food and where to eat for my trip, playing by the ear and just having whatever that catches my eye (*cross my fingers and hope they don't make me barf and stay off Japanese cuisine forever*).

Browsing through the cafes and local restaurants on Takeshita Street, I was hoping to find a decent place to make one of my first Japanese meals in its homeland a memorable one (and of course, a place to just take a break after all that walking and sightseeing).

My picky requirements are to blame when we could not find a place at all and continued on exploring further in the chic shopping district, while harboring hopes that this will be my day; to chance upon something to impress my taste palates.

It did certainly seem the case and I had no idea that my anticipation would land me in the upscale and stylish floors of Omotesando Hills; one of the most prestigious names on the shopping list.
It was definitely not planned.

Upscale dining is probably the last thing on my mind, especially right at the start of the trip and Omotesando Hills certainly gave off the vibe that it is going to pinch and prey to keep the loads lighter on the pockets upon leaving.

Yet, it was either desperation or just plain hunger which shoved us through the doors and headed for the directory.

Like a game of "Eeny, meeny, miny mo", we picked a restaurant from the directory but we ended up being drawn to this particular restaurant.

Impression of the typical izakaya style hollers at visitors with its visibly bar dining setup, though evidently played up with a hint of elegance.
There is also the private dining tables on the other side of the restaurant which was closed at that time of our visit; which I understand is usually open for the larger crowd during dinner hours.

A quick glance revealed a small crowd of diners; comprised mostly of working ladies and even a mother and a son, quietly hunched over their own trays holding that familiar presentation of a Japanese meal set as they take their time to relish their meals while facing the kitchen staff and the chef in action; visible through the glass window surrounding the perpendicular shaped seating.

The environment certainly cements the impression that this is not your ordinary restaurant; obviously displayed through its finer details in the interior design and the overall ambiance.

The perception of the luxury dining quickly proved to be a misconception when the single laminated sheet menu was presented.

The Lunch set meals are priced within the range of ¥1,000- ¥2,000 (MYR36-MYR72)
It was definitely affordable albeit the rather modest menu.

However, the prices were not the factor to impress here, for the food quickly made its way into the center of attention as it lands directly from the kitchen straight on the table; delicately presented by the friendly waitress who would even warn you of the piping hot clay bowls and hot pans on which the food were served in.


The service has already warmed up hearts if not the food, which in all its glory, raised the bar in my expectations of Japanese food.

From its multigrain rice (purportedly made up of at least 11 types of grains with a serve of nuts) in its light natural purplish hue to the delicate play of simple side serves of starters, it is a live testimonial to the careful preparation with extra attention to the slightest detail in the creation of a visually ravishing presentation.


At a closer look, it is all made up of your everyday ingredients; such as vegetables and almost everything that can be found easily in the stores or markets.

It is about simplicity meeting elegance on the tray.

The tastes of the food further affirmed the visuals; toying with the taste buds with something which is light in its flavor yet satisfying in the senses.

It is quite a relishing revelation and it all boils down to the use of fresh ingredients.


Any food connoisseur would probably emphasize over and over again about the importance of fresh ingredients, and this place certainly took heed of the advice by placing all their focus on the very thing; the ingredients themselves.

So much so that they only use homegrown organic vegetables or those that are contractually sourced.

While we ordered our share of Pan-seared yellowtail fillet and Braised chicken, all simmering in the delightfully light broth, it was the vegetables that are taking the limelight as the main theme of this restaurant.
(Though the fish fillet was just bursting in its juicy succulence and freshness, while the chicken breast was carefully made to tender perfection).



The accompanying broth took a notch lighter to pave way for the rich tastes of the fresh vegetables.

The vegetables are the ones taking the bow on the red carpet.
They are the leading players in playing up their supporting accomplices.

It is no wonder that types of vegetables are found at the main entrance itself; strategically arranged in an array to highlight the conceptual theme of the restaurant.

In fact, there is a monthly selection of vegetables; freshly sourced and highlighted as the theme for that particular month where they are featured in most of the dishes here in this restaurant.

It was certainly a refreshing take on vegetables.

Perhaps one may think that vegetables are boring; but Yasaiya Mei proved that with a little touch from the heart to finesse in preparation along with that great detail in presentation, even vegetables could take the centerstage in luxury dining.


This is truly Vegetables at its finest; as simplicity is played up with a touch of sophistication in a distinguished revelation.

*The Japanese are on the trend of vegetable cuisine; and it is about vegetables being the main focus, though not necessarily in that vegetarian sense.
It is all about healthy cuisine and even vegetables are now competitively selected to serve nothing but only the best.

There is no finer way to enjoy your vegetables; stylishly shown by Yasaiya Mei

My lunch was way beyond what I would have imagined and I certainly had a memorable dining experience at this place.
It was definitely worth it.

The best part is, it is sumptuously healthy too.


Featured in this post:

Yasaiya Mei, Omotesando Hills (3rd Floor)
Address: Omotesando Hills 3F, 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Lunch: ¥1,000- ¥2,000 (MYR36-MYR72)
Dinner: ¥5,000 onwards (MYR180 above)

Payment Mode: Cash and credit cards are accepted

Opening hours: Daily; from 11.00am - midnight (Sunday until 11pm)

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal opinions and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

Art Direction and Photography Styling by Me.
Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.
Please kindly ask for permission if you need to use any of my images.

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