In the past, yatai (mobile food carts) would pop up in parks during the cherry blossom season, but they were deemed to be unhygienic. Today, a new fleet of kitchen cars (as food trucks are known locally) are bringing everything from bento boxes to paella to the hungry masses.
This is thanks in part to tech startups such as Mellow, which connects kitchen-car owners with potential parking sites. Want a taste of the trend? Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, with its various kitchen cars, is a good starting point.
1. Tokyo Paella
Be prepared to brave the long lines when it comes to Tokyo Paella, which can be found at Tokyo International Forum, a convention centre, every Friday. The locals love it as much as everyone else. The type of paella it serves changes daily, but a typical order would include a generous serving of the flavour of the day along with a heap of green salad with crunchy croutons and garlic mayo.
2. Plus Spice
Plus Spice specialises in home-style Indian keema (minced meat), butter chicken and vegetable curries. The mobile curry specialist uses traditional Indian spices to ensure its offerings are flavourful and authentic. You can order the curries, presented in a small tub, with a side of naan (served straight from a small tandoor oven) or rice. The portions are more than satisfying.
3. Pieni Kissa
Enjoy the perfect taco bowl whenever Pieni Kissa rolls up. You get to choose from a small but promising selection of flavours. The bestseller is the original taco bowl with meat, cheese, tomato, cabbage, mizuna greens (Japanese mustard greens), fried onion and Caesar sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add on more toppings, which start at 50 yen.
Tabell serves colourful and nutritious macrobiotic meals with plenty of pickled and fresh vegetables on the side. Expect brown rice sprinkled with sesame and paired with delicious sides such as fried zucchini and basil, sweet potato with crushed almonds, mapo tofu, soya meat and more.
5. Que bom!
If you have no time to visit their Brazilian all-you-can-eat buffet at Churrascaria Que Bom in Asakusa, you have to catch its food truck, which can be found at Kojimachi M-Square every Friday, for the same gastronomic experience on the go. Que bom! serves some of the tastiest grilled steak, chicken, and sausage. It also has dishes such as feijoada, a black bean stew with beef and pork, and even seasonal items like Brazilian pork loins.
Singapore Airlines flies to Tokyo six times daily. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
SEE ALSO: What to see and do in Tomigaya, Tokyo
A shorter version of this article was originally published in the December 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine