Some of the most delicious surprises I’ve stumbled across in Tokyo are usually off the beaten track – in the lower basement of a hidden alley, high up somewhere on a winding slope, or even just inside this nondescript building…which who would have thought housed one of the world’s most luscious fresh fruit cocktails?! *I’m looking at you These in Nishi-Azabu*
Beard, the latest open secret brunch sensation I discovered, has hidden itself pretty snugly in the residential area off the Meguro river. It’s a tiny little place which sits 4 at the counter of the tiny open kitchen, another 4 at a table by the window, and just a few more small tables scattered at the side and back. It’s squeezey with a laid-back hipster vibe, but totally unpretentious phewww. Oh, there’s that amazing open kitchen, like real open open because we were seated right in front of it and could see EVERYTHING the chef was doing from sizzling Tandoori chicken patties for the burgers on the skillet to assembling home-ground granolas with dollops of yoghurt and sliced bananas. Yay for open systems :)
The man behind Beard, Shin Harakawa, wants to bring a little of the French bistro in Cali vibe to the heart of this quaint little joint in the middle of nowhere in Meguro, and he pulls it off beautifully over the brunch we had. Everything was simple, homey, yet tasted wonderful – from the juicy chicken tandoori burgers (which came with crunchhhhy veggie pickles on the side) to home-ground and roasted crunchy granola bits mixed with fresh figs, bananas and passion fruit and thick velvety yoghurt (would have been even more scrumptious if we had more than a dollop of that creamy delicious yoghurt with our granolas…). We also had their banana milkshake – the real fresh deal which washed everything down so smoooothly.
Prices are pretty reasonable at Beard (we ended up paying less than 1,500 JPY per person), although be prepared for Japanese-sized portions :) Pretty bummed they ran out of their mascarpone-based sourdough pancakes, but that just means we need to come back for brunch Round 2, at a proper brunch time pre-noon (and also to avoid queueing in the cruel hot summer sun!).
They are open for dinner as well, and a review from the Japan Times sounds giddily delicious…“superb open-facedpiperade sandwich..He slices open a hearty bread roll and spreads it with a generous layer of the seared, marinated Mediterranean vegetables; on top of this he balances a thick slice of his excellent home-cured bacon and an egg fried sunny-side up, serving it with a small side salad and a garnish of basil leaves. It’s outstanding.” Ooo yea, sounds outstanding indeed…and we now have an outstanding dinner date with Beard very soon :)
Wherefore art thou?