This is definitely an old-school tofu shop - first you sip ume tea and listen to koto music in the waiting area, then you're led to a main dining room that might remind you of an upscale family restaurant. After the meal you can browse the "souvenir" section next to the cash register, which has packaged tofu items to take home. The customer demographic skews towards more mature Aoyama shoppers, and the menu notes the number of calories for each set meal. And the tofu is very good.
One of the specialties here is the "mineoka dofu" - sweet and very creamy, almost dessert-like in character. You can pick from a huge variety of set meals and side dishes, including seasonal specials, ranging upwards from Y3600 (Y1900 at lunchtime). Most sets have about a dozen dishes, and some highlights included tofu shumai dumplings, yuba (tofu-skin) soup, daikon-and-maguro sushi wrapped in yuba, and of course the soy-milk (tonyu) sherbet. There are a few premium sake choices - it's almost an afterthought - and they compete for your attention with offbeat plum-flavored drinks like the ume-champagne cocktail.
Ume no Hana is a nation-wide chain with 11 other Tokyo branches, including Harumi (03-5144-8235), Ginza (03-3538-2226), and Ueno (03-3834-7712).
by Robb Satterwhite
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.