Home to culinary favourites around the world such as sushi and ramen, Japan is a popular food hotspot that attracts millions of tourists annually. With the panoply of restaurants and eateries that offer the freshest fish and most delectable dishes, visiting Japan at least once in your lifetime is a must. Though the country is peppered with restaurants that offer appetising foods in every corner, searching places which offer low-carb options may be a slightly more challenging endeavour. To ease the pain of identifying such eateries, here is a list of low-carb restaurants that don’t compromise on the palatability of their foods!
1. Tahichian Nonicafe
3-2-2, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0023
True to its name, this restaurant located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, offers not only healthy beverages and sweets containing a high-antioxidant fruit known as “noni”, but it also serves meals containing low glycaemic index (GI) ingredients, which could reduce the rise in blood sugar levels and are ultimately useful in helping you keep to a healthy diet.
At this eatery, you’ll also have the option of choosing meals from a healthy menu that serves dishes meant to prevent the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which is believed to be one of the factors leading to ageing. The healthy snacks and maki-zushi, which are sushi rolls consisting of ground nut paste in place of rice, are what make this restaurant a favourite amongst locals who are conscious of their health, but are also seeking for a delicious meal to satisfy their taste buds.
Rainbow village building 7F,3-5-4, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022
Traditional hotpots are considered a delicacy in Japanese culture, and these scrumptious dishes are made healthy at Nabezou, a hot spot specialty chain. There are several Nabezou branches located in Shinjuku district, but the Shinjuku Meiji-dori branch, which is a stone’s throw away from the Isetan department store, offers a cosy and relaxing environment that is perfect for an intimate gathering with friends or family.
The lunch menu at this eatery includes all-you-can-eat style beef and pork, though this is limited to a 90-minute eating time. You’ll also have the option of choosing from various types of soups, such as soy milk with collagen and kimchi, or shabu-shabu soup. This is always good to hear for those trying to stick to a healthy diet, as controlling the type of soup you consume means that you’ll be able to reduce your sugar intake.
In August 2017, it was announced that non-carb dishes such as “Shari Yasai” and “Nanashu no Gyokai Ramen” would be served at Karazhi stores across Japan. For instance, “Shari Yasai” uses Japanese radish instead of vinegar rice, which means that you’ll be able to save on the carbs. The “Nanashu no Gyokai Ramen” also uses carrot, pak-choi, bean sprouts and cabbage in place of ramen noodles, which instantaneously reduces the amount of carbs contained in the dish.
Since rice is the main component in most Japanese dishes which makes you feel full very quickly, replacing it with other equally delicious ingredients will help free up more space in your stomach. Not only will you have room to enjoy a wider range of dishes with an interesting spin on their traditional compositions, but you’ll also be able to stick to a healthier diet by dining at the Kurazuhi restaurants!
4-9-4 Roponggi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0032
Grandeforesta 1F, 3-63-1 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001
If dropping by an authentic ramen bar is on your list but you don’t want to knock yourself out of ketosis, then Afuri is most definitely a must-try! While they are known for their Yuzu Shio Ramen and Yuzu Shoyu Ramen, what makes this eatery a stellar choice for keto dieters is that you are able to have konjac noodles as your choice of staple in the dish.
Konjac noodles are made from a Japanese yam root and are known for being a keto-friendly alternative to regular wheat or rice noodles. It’s also wonderfully low-calorie, so you won’t have to feel as guilty about slurping up all that delicious ramen broth after you’re done!
Healthy eating in Japan is seldom an issue that many people grapple with, but low-carb options do tend to be less common in this Asian food hub. However, this quick list of restaurants is sure to help you out with this endeavour, especially since there are several locations for eateries like Kurazuhi, which makes low-carb dining in Japan all the more convenient!