Saido Becomes the World’s Top-rated Vegan Restaurant
Saido, a vegan restaurant tucked away in Jiyugaoka, has been picked as the worldwide No.1 in the “Best Vegan Restaurant Ranking” of over 110,000 restaurants on Happycow, the restaurant information website most used by the world’s vegans and vegetarians.
Food Specialist, Funfair
Chef Kusumoto says “The world of Saido has the same origin as gourmet food. We see cuisine as the source of beauty and of health. These are fully vegan “junk” recipes. This is a world where you can eat delicious junk food to your heart’s content, without the use of any meat, fish, eggs, milk, sugar, chemical flavorings, or anything like that. This is not vegetarian or vegetable cooking, because we want people to really enjoy themselves without depriving themselves of the noodles, rice bowl dishes, fried foods, and finger foods they love”.
While Saido only uses ingredients that are compatible with vegan, vegetarian, halal, and oriental vegan diets, it is also admired as a restaurant that cares about hearty meals, and lets people enjoy genuine, satisfying washoku meals. The menu is based on the completely novel concept of “junk washoku vegan cuisine” that even non-vegetarian diners can enjoy together with their vegetarian companions.
The dishes do not use any forms of alcohol, so they are popular with Muslim visitors to Japan. Diners can enjoy the new world of washoku that Saido serves, together with alcoholic drinks and herb cordials carefully picked by the chef.
Chef Katsumi Kusumoto is a worldwide chef, renowned to those in the know. He changed course from French cuisine to washoku, and opened his first restaurant, called “Kusumoto”, a members-only restaurant in Nishi Azabu. VIPs from many countries and global artists went to Kusumoto for his washoku. Even after his restaurant closed, many people were still looking for washoku prepared by Kusumoto.
In closing, we asked him why he captured the world No.1 ranking. He answered “Until now, I’ve been working on in-flight meals to serve on the private jets of the world’s VIPs. I’ve been through countless cycles of trial and error to see what Japanese ingredients to use, and how to prepare and cook them, to satisfy those diners. By now, I can serve meals that satisfy VIPs of the world. And, I have lists of wines and other drinks that people like that enjoy”.