The first tan tan men meal inspired by the "甘いから、辛いから" (from delicious to spicy) Brutus maagazine speical edition at the highly regarded Chinese restaurant in the Westin Hotel in Ebisu, Ryutenmon. It was excellent with handmade noodles and had some heat, but not cheap at ¥1900. It seems that Ryutenmon is or has been a Micheline one star restaurant, which might explain the price as well as the location.
Brutus magazine has a special issue devoted to "甘いから、辛いから" (from delicious to spicy) with profiles on restaurants with mabo dofu (spciy tofu), tan tan men (spicy noodle soup), and curry. The first stop on the list for me was Curry no Mise Shyaridesu in Nakano. I got the mutton keema curry, the shop's spiciest at ¥750. This was Japanese style curry shop so suffice to say I didn't think it was all that spicy.
Gaiton Tokyo is a Thai street stall style chicken rice (kaomangai) restaurant that has just opened on Meiji-dori near the Shibuya New South Exit.
It is a simple, but delicious meal that has the ambiance of a Bangkok street stall. Chicken rice, spicy dipping sauce, chicken stock soup served with fresh coriander on request for ¥750 and ¥50 for extra rice. Singha beer available. I'd like to see more one dish types of stall places here in Tokyo.
They roast their own coffee beans and have original cocktails and bottle craft beers. It has free wi-fi, but it is a very small space, which is the only drawback besides the location in opinion-I'm not a huge fan of the Nakano Broadway mall, which mostly has game and magna related merchandise and a sort of 60s worn out feel to the premises, perhaps more space like this would change that vibe.
Tsukemen at Tsuke Soba Sakuranba in Nakano. It was really tasty, I think I had the shio (salt) style soup with chicken (there are other choices such as shrimp and pork). So good that I think it rates in my Top 5 for Nakano so far...
Betonamuchan is an authentic tasting Vietnamese restaurant in Okubo near the station. I stopped by for the beef pho (Hanoi style) lunch set with fried and fresh spring rolls for ¥900. I'd like to come by for dinner some timee.
There's a great new little breakfast and brunch place in Hiroo, Jade 5. I had the breakfast burrito, but I'll be back to try the omelet, eggs benedict, and burgers.
Update: Two more visits and I'm happy to say the omlet is top notch as well, still need to try eggs benedict.
The burgers are above average, but not as good as those at nearby Homework's or Burger Mania. The fries were tasteless. I was intrigued by the bacon chicken sandwich, and that would be the next lunch time choice.