Keifu: Vegetarian Options Available

I had my eye on Keifu ever since haphazardly discovering it in its tiny, residential ally months ago. Unfortunately they closed down right when I was going to try them out, but luckily they have since reopened at the beginning on this year. They started out as mainly a soba noodle joint, but on Mondays offered shojin ryori (Buddhist vegan cuisine) lunches–which I hope explains the difficulty in nabbing a lunch from here.img_7573

I believe that since they reopened, they are serving vegetarian options more frequently for lunch, but I’m still not 100% sure. In any case, I did go on a Monday for lunch and ordered the lunch set, which included a choice of spicy soup (non-vegetarian) or soymilk-based soup (vegetarian), a vegetarian main dish (with a choice of rice or toast), and a vegetarian dessert (choice of dango, sesame flan, or egg tart (the latter two at a slightly higher price), and ending with your choice of coffee, hojicha, or black tea. This all came at the price of ¥1,400-1,600. They also allowed the choice of buying just the soup and the main (leaving out the dessert and drink) for ¥1,080.img_7571

I ordered the set with the soymilk soup, toast, flan, and black tea. While it took them a while to serve (I thought the soup would come first, but it came with the set meal), it was definitely very refreshing. While I personally wasn’t crazy about the soup, the sides to the main, which included soba tofu and a variety of potato croquettes, were very flavorful and excellent. I also wasn’t too crazy about their black honey-topped flan (it seems their soymilk-based items aren’t my thing), it was still a strangely light way to end the meal. img_7572

The atmosphere is also something to mention before I end this. It’s built into a traditional Japanese home, and while they have a very limited number of tables (if you have more than 3 people in your party, it’s best to call in for a reservation), it was very cozy, and the workers were very friendly. Underneath our (Western-style) table was a long foot warmer which was excellent in the winter cold (you take your shoes off at the entrance)–it absolutely won me over.img_7570

They’ve added a bit more to their outside board to advertise that they are in fact a restaurant, but it’s still rather hidden, especially if you’re coming from the south end of the street, so be on the lookout.img_7575

Overall, it’s a very homey place to relax for a bit over lunch with some (following their slogan) food that’s “easy on the body.” Definitely give it a try.

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恵風 (Keifu)
栃木県宇都宮市東塙田1‐3‐5
028-623-9689
Open 11 am – 6 pm
Closed Wed. and Sun.
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