Eating at Zakuro is like you’ve been transplanted into a scene from your favorite Persian fantasy novel. Countless mosaic glass lamps hang overhead, the food keeps coming long after you’re full and the entertainment is truly one of a kind.
Zakuro is a Turkish-Iranian-Uzbekistani restaurant, located a short four minute walk from Nippori Station. On the Japanese restaurant review site Tabelog, customers consistently use the word 不思議 (curious, strange, etc.) to describe Zakuro.
Once you step inside, you may be so dazzled by the colorful handmade lamps and scafvs that hang from the ceiling. If you’ve eaten at a traditional Japanese restaurant, you’ve probably had the experience of eating while sitting on the floor. However at Zakuro instead of tatami, you’ll be sitting on a huge elaborately patterned rug, almost elbow-to-elbow with other guests.
At lunch, from 11 am to 3 pm, the standard choice is the 1000 yen set. This set is called the 幸せランチ (Shiawase ranchi; Happy Lunch), but it may as well be called the “Endless Lunch” for all the food that is brought out.
That title, however, is reserved officially by the 2000 yen set dinner, the 食べきれないコース (Tabekirenai cōsu; All-you-can-eat Course) and the 3000 yen dinner set, the 食べきれない・飲みきれないコース (Tabekirenai nomikirenai cōsu; All-you-can-eat-and-drink Course).
At lunch, not five minutes after you’ve ordered, food starts coming out. As space runs out on the table and the plates overflow onto the floor, the staff members continue to bring out curries, salads, soups, and other dishes. At one point during my own visit, the owner himself came out to pass out dried apricots.
Besides being a restaurant, Zakuro also acts as an international goods store, lamp shop, and belly dance studio. If you visit after 7:00 pm, for an additional 500 yen cover charge, you can even watch belly dancing, samba, or traditional dance from Uzbekistan while eating your dinner. Those who like shisha (hookah) will be happy to know that you can pay for a session at Zakuro.
Whether you go for the food, the shopping or the entertainment, you are sure to leave Zakuro with a full stomach and a strong impression.
Zakuro Official Website
Tokyo-to, Arakawa-ku, Nishi-Nippori 3-13-2 Yanaka Studio 1st Floor