Baden Baden (Tokyo)

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Address: 2-1-8 Yurakucho, Hibiya

Baden Baden is literally off the beaten path housed under the east side Yurakucho Station train tracks. Located in Ginza by the Imperial Hotel, it's hard to imagine that beneath the tracks there would be such a cozy restaurant serving up German classics. And yes, you can hear the light rumbling of the train as it goes by, but it’s not disruptive or annoying.

We had to admit, after seeing the row of restaurants built into the tracks, we were intrigued – after all how big could they possibly be with their limited real estate? So, we decided to stop and check one out. Baden Baden isn’t large by any standard, but surprisingly still seats quite a few people. At first, only expecting to get some drinks, we ended up trying some food after seeing tempting pretzel and goulash on the menu.

The pretzel (¥431) was freshly made, arriving hot and doughy soft. It’s less dense and chewy compared to the ones I’ve had in malls and sporting events, but its lightness is fitting when you’re also downing pints of beer. Although I’m a big fan of savoury foods, it would have been nice if the salt coating it was toned down a bit and instead a dipping sauce accompany it as well since it was a tad dry. 

After having bowls of goulash while on a Contiki trip, the memories of the thick flavourful stew still haunts me. Whenever it’s on a menu, I generally end up ordering it in hopes of being reunited with the flavours I enjoyed at roadside stops across Austria. Baden Baden’s goulash (¥1,565) had a thick stew consistency filled with tender cubes of beef that had some tendon attached to it so there was some gumminess to it – I know this sounds strange, but it’s something I enjoy. The flavours could have been a bit more spicy but the addition of diced sweet peppers brighten up an otherwise simple dish. If only the pretzel arrived with it, the sauce would have made an excellent dip for the pretzel. Alas, we had polished that off too quickly.

The restaurant, although not hidden, may be hard to find as you do need to find the right part of the tracks. So, I’ve enclosed pictures of their business card below in case it helps you locate it. Cheers and good luck with your journey, this unique little place is worth a stop.

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