Continuing with my series on unusual and/or interesting restaurants in Tokyo, Japan I wanted to introduce you to Zakuro located at 3-14-13 Nishi-Nippori (3 minutes west of the JR Nippori North Exit). Having lived in Istanbul, Turkey for 5 years, I found this establishment particularly interesting and appealing. Could authentic Middle Eastern food really be had at Taito-ku?
Located at the end of the pedestrian avenue in the heart of the traditional Yanaka neighborhood, this restaurant serving Turkish, Persian and Usbek dishes offers an extraordinary dining experience. There are no tables or chairs, diners sit on carpeted floor in close quarters. The walls of the restaurant are covered with belly dancer costumes and other Middle Eastern attire as well as oriental rugs, ceramic plates, pictures and other middles eastern wares. Countless mosaic glass lamps hang overhead beneath a draped ceiling, making the place seem more like a bazaar than an actual dining establishment.
Lunch is served 11 A.M. until 3 P.M., and dinner is served between 3 P.M. and 11 P.M. Lunch will set you back 1,000¥ while the all-you-can eat dinner course costs 2,000¥ and includes many meat dishes such as kebabs and lamb stew. As a matter of fact, not long after you have placed your order the food starts coming out and space runs out on the table and the plates overflow onto the floor. The restaurant staff bring out endless dishes of various curries, salads, soups, etc. Further, for an extra 1,000¥ you enjoy unlimited alcoholic drinks (Turkish beer and wine available) with your meal.
Diners are encouraged to wear Middle Eastern clothing (most commonly a hat called a fez) and when a reservation is made for a party of three or more, they can try a hookah (water tobacco pipe).
After 7:00 P.M visitors are treated to belly dancing, samba, or traditional Uzbekistan dances for an additional 500¥ cover charge!
Aside from serving as a restaurant, Zakuro also operates as an international goods store, lamp shop, mosaic lamp making workshop and belly dance studio. So whether you go for the food, the shopping or the entertainment, you are sure to leave Zakuro with an everlasting impression.