The “Good Eats” series chronicles the best restaurants, diners, grills, eateries and greasy spoons across Japan.
Johnson Town, located in Iruma, Saitama Prefecture, is one of the most unique travel destinations in all of Japan. Why? Because when you’re there, not only do you feel like you’ve traveled to another country (the United States of America) but you’ve also traveled to another era entirely. Johnson Town specifically brings to mind America in the 1950’s.
Both a residential area and a tourist spot, Johnson Town has a quaint, homey feel of retro Americana, transplanted through the time vortex and dropped down into the middle of 21st century Saitama prefecture. It’s an experience in itself, but today I’d like to focus on one of the best parts of Johnson Town: the “herbal and spicy” restaurant Recipe Recipe (or Recipe Squared as the sign would read).
Located on the edge of Johnson Town, Recipe Recipe makes for a great spot to start or finish your visit to the area (which is easily accessible from Tokyo, making it an excellent day trip locale). Visitors here can taste various dishes from curry to specialized meats- that “herbal and spicy” part is not just for show.
Living around the area, almost every weekend we always passed by this restaurant when traveling to and from Johnson Town. An enticing glass wall overs a nice view of its interior as well as the view one gets of the exterior when they dine in.
The eye-catching logo is another thing that draws your eye; one cannot help but be mesmerized by thoughts of what a restaurant with “Recipe” in the name (twice!) has to offer. Eventually, we decided to try it out, and we do not regret it.
The interior is awesome. The hanging stars and other beach ornaments delight the eyes. The décor provides a comfortable atmosphere for those dining in. The quiet environment plus the food almost gives one the sense of home, even if they’re not from America (in the 1950’s). The outside table set-up also gives a touch of sophistication and is worth trying out as well.
Our dinner started with jasmine tea and pumpkin soup. Then came the main dish of mixed vegetables with a juicy pork and beef stew that absolutely activated my “umami” taste buds. It practically melted into our mouths. After that, our refreshing dessert was Japanese shaved ice (kakigori) with pumpkin ice cream on top, perfect for the summer time (when we visited). All in all, a real treat!
The food at Recipe Recipe can be a little on the pricier side, but it is delicious and healthy. From starters to main courses to desserts, it’s a solid menu, perfect for those seeking something wholly original from their dining experience in Japan.
Also making it worth the money is how friendly the staff members are; the service was efficient and the staff were always approachable. They make sure guests taste a piece of heaven before you leave the place. It’s the kind of experience you’ll want to repeat!
レシピレシピ Recipe Recipe
1 Chome-6-1 Azumacho, Iruma, Saitama-ken, Saitama 358-0002
Open 11:00 am to 22:00 pm (closed on Wednesdays)
Images for this article were provided by Rendell Jao.
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From the Philippines
Has experienced Japan for over 5 years!