Buttermilk Channel
Harajuku: American
Buttermilk Channel (Harajuku: American)
Buttermilk Channel
Open 10am-3, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
no smoking: No smoking

This Tokyo outpost of a popular New York restaurant serves "Brooklyn-style brunch" and some of the best, and spiciest, Bloody Marys in town. The daily brunch menu features dishes like buttermilk fried chicken, lox platters, Eggs Huntington, and scrambled eggs with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. It's Brooklyn in style, but strongly influenced by Southern US cuisine.

Portions here are somewhat smaller than your typical Tokyo brunch spot, though quite adequately sized for a weekday lunch, while prices are correspondingly cheaper. The advantage of this is that you can order a single breakfast plate if you just want a quick lunch at an ordinary Harajuku lunchtime price. Alternatively you can mix and match and share platters, add on side dishes, indulge in a cocktail or two, and settle in for a leisurely two-hour brunch, even on a weekday.

Worthy of special mention is the excellent "vollkornbrot" toast, which comes with the scrambled eggs and some other platters. Thickly sliced and soaked through with butter, it's more like a dense cake than a heavy bread in texture, and it's very flavorful. The toasted caraway-rye bread that comes with the lox platter is also notably tasty, complementing the salmon quite well.

In the evening you'll find an expanded menu of creative American comfort foods like duck meatloaf and fried pork chops. There's a hefty grilled-cheese sandwich that's stuffed with apple, bacon and cheddar, offering nicely contrasting textures and tastes. Fried chicken is prepared with a thick, crunchy shell and served on fantastic buttermilk waffles - the best version of this classic dish we've had in Tokyo.

The dining room is comfortable and spacious, with a number of booths for group parties. Last order for lunch isn't until 3pm, and it's pleasantly uncrowded towards the tail end of lunch hour. Brunch plates start at around Y1280, with hash-brown potatoes and salad but no beverage, or you can get a full-blown brunch with drinks for around Y2500-3000.

The restaurant is also uncrowded on weekday evenings - Harajuku doesn't seem to be a big nighttime destination. Wines start at around Y2,800 a bottle although you can spend a fair bit more if you like, and the cocktail menu offers a good number of original creations. Budget around Y3500-4500 for dinner with drinks.

Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-11-11.

Tokyo Beyond Sushi - the guidebook
Tokyo Beyond Sushi
Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

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.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended