Saturday, August 27, 2011

Halal Food in Japan

Decided to go to Japan Disneyland in July 2010 with my small kiddo before he turns two to take advantage of the lower fare :) My concerns were mostly the language barrier and food accessibility. Spent about a week in Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakone. All in all, halal food was easy to find in Tokyo but we survived on instant noodles, fruits, egg and bread in Hakone. Language wise; it's still easy as the rails maps are in English, and the people are very friendly, though not all can speak English, just arm yourself with an English - Japanese guide book and show them the words if they don't understand your pronunciation, you will most likely then understand their responses thru hand signals and basic english :) 

We found this website very helpful in planning our travel and eating arrangements. 

Halal Food in Japan #1 : Siddique Indian and Pakistani Restaurant in Nihonbashi

We settled for Siddique Indian and Pakistani Restaurant in Nihonbashi (ate there twice! naan was very nice, butter chicken was good and tandoori prawns was fantastic, the milk tea comes without sugar though, so you have to ask for it) The place is packed with locals during lunchtime so best to avoid that timing. (actually saw one guy perspiring eating their mild curry!) The staff are very nice, we actually called them up before arriving to ask for directions and as my husband can't really understand them over the phone, they picked us up at the nihonbashi bridge :) how great is that? Just look out for a indian guy dressed in white cook shirt and black pants; oh well if you can't recognize them, they will definitely recognize u as tourist) For a list of their restaurant chains click here.

Halal Japan #1: Siddique Rest at 2F and Vietnamese Rest at Basement

Halal Food in Japan #2: Khazana at Queen's East Shopping Centre

The next place we ate was at Khazana at Queen's Square ( alight at Minato Mirai station and just a short walk away) Minato-mirai 2-3, Queen's Square "At 3rd", B1F. Open 11am-10pm daily Contact No: 045-682-2873. Get there early to avoid the queue. It offered a buffet lunch at an affordable price. Buffet spread was normal but hey it's halal and its a buffet! So, I ate enough to last me till dinner as hubby didn't tell me he planned to check out another halal restaurant for dinner. 

Halal Japan #2 : Khazana @ Queen's East

That night, we went to World Porter's as hubby read somewhere about a halal Indonesian restaurant there, we went around in circles as there were no signs and what we found was an Indian restaurant instead; but we were not sure whether it's halal. 

We went round and round until we saw a staff dressed in kebaya, so we assumed that she was from the restaurant and asked whether it's halal, she said that the restaurant name is Surabaya, but it's not halal as they serve pork. Oh well.. I'm still full, but hubby was ravenous, so we had to settle for fruits bought at the basement supermarket. 

Halal Food in Japan #3 : Al-Ain at Stalk Tower Ohdori-Koen Bldg

We should have checked out Al-Ain instead, it's a Middle Eastern restaurant run by a Lebanese; Ziad who is a former chef at Kuwaiti Embassy. Restaurant is  at Yokohama Kannai just a few stations away from Minato Mirai. Add: Yayoicho 2-17, Stalk Tower Ohdori-Koen Bldg. B1F. [along Ohdori Koen, about 3 min. west of Isezaki Chojamachi subway station exit 6, at Yayoicho 2-chome crossing, underneath a Family Mart] Open 5:30-11pm. Contact: 045-251-6199 Closed on Monday.

Halal Japan #3: Al-Ain Restaurant

Halal Food in Japan #4: Vietnamese Restaurant at Nihonbashi

On our final day in Japan, we went back to Siddique and noticed that there is a Vietnamese restaurant at the basement, (see frst picture) checked that out but wasn't really convinced that it's halal even thought the staff said it was. So, we ate at Siddique and when we bid our farewell, we remarked in passing regarding the Vietnamese Restaurant and they said yes it's halal! Oh well, maybe next trip then :)

P/S: If you are still planning for your Japan trip and have yet to book your hotel, could you do me a favor and book through this website?  Its's Agoda and I'm an affliate. Chances are you are going through book through Agoda anyway but clicking on the link and booking through it earns me a commission and that would really help me a lot. Thanks!

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