On Friday afternoon we snagged the matinee session at the Robot Restaurant, one of Tokyo's cheesiest tourist attractions (see the slideshow below for a hint of the neon pantomime we experienced). We held off on the popcorn and sought out snacks afterwards from Hang Out, a laid-back surfer-inspired vegan bar in Shibuya.
An English printed menu full of photos was available, so we had no problem browsing independently. Before Matt even arrived we demolished a plate of seasoned fries'n'sauce (480円 ~ $5.15). Stomachs thus lined, we were more polite in sharing many more bar snacks over an hour or two, including the hemp potato croquettes (580円 ~ $6.20) and a saucer of kimchi (580円 ~ $6.20).
The rainbow vegetable salad (880円 ~ $9.40) was a gesture towards fresh vegetables that really paid off, the abundant fresh greens decorated with pretty and refreshing radishes, and pots of avocado and sesame-based dressings besides. The gyoza (580円 ~ $6.20) were pretty good too, but we didn't figure out the dipping sauce protocol in time.
Our mock meat of choice (Jamaican jerk vegan chicken) was sadly sold out but there were plenty of others to choose from. The Japanese fried wheat gluten (680円 ~ $7.30) reminded me of Fry's, and was garnished with pickles, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. The fried tofu with tartar sauce (880円 ~ $9.40) was a surprise stand-out, with some lively seasoning and crunchy snow pea sprouts.
The staff spoke English well and were very relaxed. We happily loitered at Hang Out through a couple cycles of customers, watching the wall projection shift from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Dead Man and loop around to Dead Man once more. It was the ideal haven from the bright lights and city sounds on yet another rainy night.
Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Udagawa-cho, 3-12 RIKA Building 3rd Floor, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
standard menu, daily specials
Accessibility: Hang Out is located up a couple of flights of narrow stairs; we didn't see an alternative entry. Inside tables are well spaced and it's quite dimly lit. We ordered at our table and paid at a high counter. The toilet is elevated by one or two steps, unisex, and narrow.