Ask someone about Japanese cuisine, and their rightful answer would be to ask "Which part of Japan?" This country is known for its regional specialties, which tend to be so specific and so distinct that the concept of traveling somewhere faraway just to experience their food is a standard practice. Luckily for those of us in Tokyo, those distant, regional specialties sometimes get brought right here to our massive metropolis, as restaurateurs look to bring their dishes to the big city.
Yellow Company is one such restaurant. Located near Ebisu Station in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo, Yellow Company serves up a delicious bowl of soup curry, a food that comes from our friends up north in Hokkaido. Soup curry is a thin, liquidly curry that gets served with vegetables and/or meat, along with rice for dipping. It's a terrific and unique twist on the standard types of curry that can be found throughout Japan. It tends to be rather healthy, and can be adjusted to your preference for spiciness.
Yellow Company's soup curry is fantastic. Having tried three different varieties (vegetable, chicken, and beef), each one was unique and had a special taste. All were very good. The best part of the dishes, however, was the vegetables. I rarely get excited about the quality of vegetables, but Yellow Curry goes above and beyond to serve incredible, large-cut fresh vegetables in the curry that alone are worth the price of your meal. The pieces of meat were big and delicious, and all dishes are served with an artistic flare that gives the entire experience a trendy feel. For spice lovers like myself, mid-level hotness hardly did anything, but the kitchen is gracious enough to push the heat if you ask. A friend with a more sensitive tongue thought that Level 2 was his upper limit.
A low-end dish costs a minimum of 1,000 yen, and with plenty of variations and topping options, can easily approach or cross the 2,000 yen mark. There are also plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options, including lassi and chai. Unfortunately, the menu is all in Japanese and has few pictures. There are separate smoking and non-smoking rooms. Also, take-out is available.
If there is one gripe to be had with the Yellow Company experience, it's that it tends to be a bit cold inside during the winter months. Come on guys, you don't have to emulate the entire Hokkaido experience for us.
Yellow Company can be reached by a 7-minute walk from Ebisu Station (JR Yamanote, JR Saikyo, JR Shonan-Shinjuku, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Lines). It is located on a smaller side street just off Meiji Dori. Keep your eyes peeled for the Yellow Company sandwich board which is set up on the corner.