Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu: Where Everything Turns Green

You may have seen all kinds of matcha desserts but how about having matcha in savoury dishes? Although I have written previously about the Japanese Tea Kaiseki Meal at Fukujuen Tokyo, that experience wasn't as "extreme" as the experience at 1899 Green Tea Restaurant. As the name suggests, this place is all about infusing Japanese cuisine with "ocha". This couldn't be a more appropriate theme for this restaurant that is opened by the prestigious Hotel Ryumeikan which has more than 100 years of history since its establishment in Ochanomizu. 

Most of the dishes here are infused with either tencha, matcha or houjicha, albeit a clear bias towards matcha. Unlike the Kaiseki experience at, this casual dining place is similar to a mid-priced izakaya serving grilled dishes, salads, rice bowls and alcohols, including green tea beer.

Highly recommended dishes include the Green Tea Potato Salad 抹茶ポテトサラダ (680 yen) and Tamagoyaki with Green Tea Miso 抹茶味噌入り出汁巻き玉子 (880 yen). The former was served with smoky sweet Tonkatsu sauce, which was quite redundant given that the dish was delicious on its own. Meanwhile, the Tamagoyaki was executed with precision and amazed everyone at the table with the oozing lava that contributed to its tastiness. 
But incorporating Japanese tea into savoury dishes is an even more challenging task than working it into desserts. It can easily be masked by the umami or saltiness and thus not all dishes turned out equally successful. For instance, the Wagyu Sirloin baked in seasonal onions 和牛サーロインと旬野菜の玉葱釜焼き was rather disappointing as the matcha sauce tasted incongruous with the beef, even though the onion was utterly soft and sweet. Skip the soggy Kale Pizza as there was nothing remarkable about it.

銀だら西京焼き、大山鶏塩焼き 抹茶おろし添え、抹茶鍋、鍋の〆ご飯
Speaking of this ingenious hot pot, it is prepared by working Uji Matcha into the chicken broth and served with Gunma prefecture pork. Surprisingly, it wasn't bland at all and quarantined of heavy seasonings. The matcha imparted some tea fragrance and taste to the broth, bringing it one step closer to Hakka Lei Cha but in a more palatable manner. 

It's available in single pax and include seasonal vegetables and Gunma prefecture pork. Towards the end of any hot pot meal, there is always "shime-no-gohan" but the rice was elevated with Chirimen which made them very tasty without the need to pour the soup. 

For something simpler, the Salmon Ochazuke お茶ずけ will suffice for a light and healthy meal to end the night. 

Green Tea Restaurant 1899 Ochanomizu
3-4 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0062, Japan
Lunch 11am-3pm
Cafe 2pm-4.30pm
Dinner 5.30pm-11pm
3 min walk from JR Ochanomizu Station
Facebook:  1899ochanomizu