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Jonathan’s and Gusto: Heaven and hell on weekends

Of all family restaurants I have visited in Japan so far, Jonathan’s is the most girlish and kids-free. Don’t get this wrong, I like kids. As long as they are quietly eating their meal and don’t cause any trouble, I can deal with them. But then I went to Gusto on Saturday evening because I’ve clipped those discount coupons. It was a terrible mistake. As I entered the restaurant in Azabu-Juban (ironically, located in the basement), it seemed to me that I deliberately dragged myself into the Hell. I got immersed into a place with all sorts of screams of poor children who suffered an obligatory weekend dinner out. Some fathers took smaller kids outside because they could not stop crying or running around. There were absolutely no tables available. When some new customers were getting in, I coward-heartedly ran away. It was more than anyone can endure without the need.

Then I headed to Jonathan’s, which is more expensive than Gusto, therefore is generally less crowded and, I dare say, more sophisticated. During my one-hour stay realized that it is mostly frequented by women aged 20-40. They come with friends or eat alone, while only one family came with a small kid. Some parents come with elder childern who never scream and behave themselves.Jonathan'sEven the wallpaper pattern at Jonathan’s is roses. How cute is that? Moreover, there are many scrumptious sweets on the menu. They also have a bistro menu at Jonathan’s.Jonathan'sSo, why there are no noisy schoolgirls and kids? Because the prices are rather  high. A black sesame dessert with a self-serve drink bar has set me back 678 yen, while I can sometimes spend a little more than 500 yen at Saizeriya. However, it is considerably better than nursing a latte at Starbucks for one hour.Jonathan'sA drink bar at Jonathan’s is more luxurious than the ones at other family restaurants. They have hot and ice matcha latte, different kinds of coffee beans (the country of origin depending on the particular day), and various kinds of loose tea. To name but a few: black beans and buckwheat, caramel and chestnut tea, several types of green tea, and elegant Earl Gray, whatever it means.Jonathan'sA small but very nice feature: the coffee cups are kept warm in a special cupboard. It takes several moments to figure out where they are. It is very considerate, because coffee cam get cold too quickly in winter.


Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Azabu-Juban 1-4-1
Telephone: 03-3560-3534
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Regular Holidays: None
Access: 3 min. walk from Azabu-Juban station
Menu Language: Japanese, English
Distance to airport: About 13 km from Haneda Airport
Official website: http://www.jonathan.co.jp

Article by Olga Kaneda

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