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Bespoque

Bespoque is a tiny but miraculous “gastropub” on a quiet street outside Higashi-Nakano Station. Chef Nonoshita makes everything in-house, from the sausages and smoked fish to the ketchup. Her cooking is undeniably British, with flavors recalling multicultural influences as well as traditional staples. An order of lightly seared tuna salad brings tablets of delicate, rosy flesh coated in warm spices from India. There’s a palate-cleansing chilled summer soup of bright tomato with an awakening hit of fresh ginger. Homemade thick-cut bacon is intensely smoky and scattered with flakes of sea salt. And the fish pie is exactly what it should be: fluffy and buttery mashed potatoes browned lightly with a crust on top and a soft middle of flaky cod, smoky salmon and a mouth-coating white cream sauce. Bespoque is completely full 30 minutes after I arrive — it’s easy to understand why.