Food & Drink | TOKYO FOOD FILE

Ming-Teng Hao Hao: Cheerful desserts meet Chinatown kitsch

by Robbie Swinnerton

Contributing Writer

Ming-Teng Hao Hao: Tomorrow will be good. You’ve got to love a place with a name like that. Whether it’s referring to your luck or just the weather, we need all the positivity we can get.

The concept behind this self-proclaimed “New Far Eastern” cafe close to the river in Nakameguro is equally cheerful. It styles itself as a 1980s restaurant in a U.S. West Coast Chinatown, complete with “oriental” motifs and a predilection for peach-colored paint.

Happily, Ming-Teng Hao Hao has a menu that lives up to its name. The main draw is the Taiwanese-style soy pudding desserts. Soft soy curds — close in texture to tofu, but not as firm — are scooped into a large bowl and served with lightly sweetened syrups and toppings.

These range from simple red or green beans to assorted fruit. There’s even a “herbal” version featuring jujube, black fungus and other specialties from the traditional Chinese pharmacopeia, with a pu-erh tea base that is refreshing and tonifying.

The rest of the menu is equally appealing. If you crave something savory, there’s rice congee topped with yuba (soybean skin). And although it’s not stated overtly, the menu is vegan-friendly.

Tofu pudding from ¥600, savory congee ¥700; English menu; takeout available; English spoken

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
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