A Conceptual Vegan Dining
Food, that is what we think of at least 3 times a day. So why not to consider what do we actually consume instead of thinking to just satisfy our hunger. I personally love cooking, only then I am sure that everything is fresh and that my beloved ones get all the necessary nutrition. I carry the same values when choosing restaurants. Therefore, it is challenging to find a good one.
Few months ago I was looking for a new place that I can take my BFF for our monthly catch up. Normally, in Tokyo, it is very difficult to find a chic and vegan/vegetarian place. After googling keywords such as “vegan”, “quality”, “chic”, “design”, the name 8ablish caught my attention. Their philosophy is vegan for all with fresh seasonal ingredients, which I find attractive. So we first went there for breakfast, we ate and we fell in love. Ever since then, at each possible occasion you can find me there.
To give you the inside story I met with Namiko Ito (PR) and chef Hitomi Wada.
What does the name 8ablish stand for?
Our company originally started as a design company named ‘Double Ow Eight’. We opened our first café named ‘Café Eight’ in 2000, with a passion to create an entertaining place that is elegant and fun. We also opened another one named PURE CAFE, which was produced by Café Eight. When we were trying to open this restaurant, we were feeling that maybe we should put all these names together and turn them into one. So we decided to take ‘Eight’ from our original café’s name ‘Café Eight’, and use the word ‘establish’ since we were establishing a new restaurant. And we connected those two words and created a new word, ‘8ablish’. That’s how we came up with our very first restaurant name ‘8tablish’.
What was your motivation to open this restaurant?
We have been involved in the café businesses for more than 15 years. Both of our cafes have had the word ‘café’ in their names, and for that reason we felt that there was a limit to the food we can serve. We wanted to be able to serve various kinds of food, so we took the next step and decided to open a new restaurant.
How do you imagine 8ablish role in the dining culture?
‘Vegan’ is our concept, but it’s not just for people who are vegan/vegetarian. We aim to be the restaurant that can be enjoyed by people who are not vegetarian as well. For example, “I ate a lot of meat yesterday, so I feel like eating vegetables today.”, whenever one feels like that, we want them to consider eating at 8ablish. The vegan food we serve is for all kinds of people who have different food culture. It could be for everyone who enjoys good taste and high quality meals.
What inspires you?
Hitomi-san: I had been a chef for a traditional Japanese restaurant for over a decade. I’ve also been involved in Italian cuisine in the past and now I am creating vegan food. I get ideas and inspirations from a lot of other genres of food, but I think all the food I create is based on the way that I’ve always cooked Japanese cuisine.
What is important when choosing food?
We value our relationship with the people who supply us with vegetables, alcohol, etc. We communicate well with them and know that those suppliers put so much effort into growing or making the ingredients they give us. I think it’s very important that we choose ingredients that have a story and come from people we know well and we trust.
How do you think our food choices influence us? What kind of impact do they have?
I think our body is affected by what we eat the environment that surrounds us. If you eat food that makes you happy, it of course, affects you and your body in a good way. So I feel it’s very important to choose what we put in our body very carefully.