Lezzet - Turkish ****
Address Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Uchi-Kanda 1-15-5 310 Bdg 1F
Opening hours - Closed on Sundays and holidays
Telephone - 03-3259-1676
Menu - In Japanese and English
Credit Cards - No
The other day I went to Kanda for the first time. Picture that: 19 years in Tokyo and I had never been there. That was not the only first of the day: I was there to buy the first Persian rug of my life and for the first time I had lunch in a restaurant smaller than a six tatami room. I didn't see it: my girlfriend did, and since she likes Turkish food as much as I do, we decided to have lunch there once our shopping was done.
Normally I would not review a restaurant after having had only lunch there, you know, but I will make an exception for this one. Tiny, luminous and friendly, Lezzet is staffed by a young Turkish cook and an equally young Japanese lady, both discrete but cordial. Small as the place is, just ten seats altogether, chitchatting is an unavoidable pleasure that contributes to one's good digestion. The cook was delighted to know that I love and know very well the food of his country.
We ordered the 700 yen lunch set, consisting of a choice of a chicken shish kebab or lamb köfte (Turkish style meatballs) with butter rice, a salad and coffee or tea. I had the chicken and my beloved one the lamb. Everything was excellent and a great value, but what impressed me most was the salad, with the right amount of olive oil and lemon juice, just perfect.
The à-la-carte menu is short, as it has to be in a small restaurant like this, but adequate and, if their lunch is any indication, everything should be very good in spite of the very moderate prices. Unassuming and cheap, this tiny place nonetheless delivers and is an excellent choice if you are in Kanda and hungry.
To get there:
Get out of Kanda station's West exit and walk along the shopping mall (Nishiguchi Shotengai) and walk about 400 meters until you see Lezzet's sign on your right.
Kua'aina - Burgers ****
Addresses & Phones -
Aoyama : Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Minami Aoyama 5-10-21. Tel. 03-3407-8001
Shibuya : Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 1-10-4. Tel. 03-3409-3200
Kanda : Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Surugadai 3-5. Tel. 03-3518-0050
Gotanda : Tokyo-to, Shinagawa-ku, Nishi Gotanda 1-26-7. Tel. 03-5437-3800
Kamakura : Kanagawa-ken, Kamakura-shi, Yuigahama 4-3-9. Tel. 0467-61-2400
Opening hours - From 11:00 to 21:00, closed on Sunday
Menu - In English and Japanese
Credit Cards - Yes
I have finally found a place where to eat high quality hamburgers. Burgers, it'is well known, are not high cuisine, but they do have a place in life. I believe in fast food, I swear I do. Sometimes MacDonald's is the ideal place to make a fuel stop: this doesn't qualify as a proper meal, but it does get rid of the pangs of hunger.
Kua'aina however is different, and is only a distant relative of the places where we usually cruise for burgers, mainly because it uses high quality ingredients, but also for some interesting choices available in its menu. I have concluded that, in spite of the speed with which food comes, this is actually not fast food, but real, excellent food: I cannot think of higher praise.
First of all, its golden french fries are excellent, crispy and not at all oily or, if you prefer a single adjective, just perfect. Second, you can have your sandwiches in one of three different kinds of bread, namely kaiser roll, multi-grain wheat or hearth rye. Third, of the five burgers, 14 sandwiches and three salads (blue cheese dressing, my favorite, is available), many are both refreshing and healthy, like the tuna and avocado sandwich, or the avocado, bacon and cheese sandwich.
You can have extra cheese, bacon, avocado, or pineapple for from 100 to 200 yen. What's more, you can choose among six kinds of cheese, including Italian provolone and swiss cheese.
The final bill will be around 1000 yen apiece, but the place is definitely worth at least that much.