Do you know about the recently popular superfood “pakchee”? If you don’t know it by that name, you may be more familiar with the name coriander or cilantro.
Called “pakchee” in Japan and in some Asian countries, the same herb is referred to as “coriander” or “cilantro” in other countries around the world. It was only used as a spice before but recently, there has been a trend for pakchee to be used as the main ingredient in dishes such as pakchee salad, hot pot dishes, cocktails, and even desserts.
The thing about pakchee is that it is an extremely polarizing herb, meaning that while some people are in love with the taste and smell, there are others who find it slightly repulsive. I personally am on the side that does not like pakchee. I will run the other way if it is served in any of my food, but many of my friends and family love it to no end and for good reason as well. Pakchee is considered to be a superfood for its various health and beauty benefits that come from its detoxification powers.
Located in Shinjuku (新宿) along Yasukuni Street (靖国通り), a Thai restaurant called Pak-chee Village features mountains of pakchee in all of their dishes. It has only been open for half a year but has become extremely popular amongst pakchee lovers in and around Tokyo.
Pak-chee Village’s most popular menu is their Pak-chee Salad (regular size – 1,490 yen; half size – 1,166 yen). Almost all of the people who visit Pak-chee Village begin their meal with an order of the Pak-chee Salad. The salad is a mountain of pakchee topped with green onions and nuts. The onion-based dressing goes perfectly with the sweet chili sauce and pakchee.
One of the reasons for Pak-chee Village’s popularity is their Pak-mori menu, which is an all-you-can-eat pakchee system for 162 yen. If you order this, you can get as many orders of pakchee as you wish. They come in cute little tin buckets and while the average refill number is 5 to 6, there are apparently some pakchee fanatics who order an additional dozen buckets of the herb.
Pak-chee Village also has a range of seasonal hot pot dishes on their menu. Their hot pots feature a lot of vegetables and various meats that all go perfectly with pakchee. They also offer a wide range of unique mixed drinks – from their pakchee lassi (a yogurt-based drink) to their fresh pakchee mojito.
While the restaurant is based on a Thai food cart, there are sofa seats and sunken kotatsus (掘りごたつ), a low table on the floor with a dugout area to put your legs down in, making Pak-chee Village the perfect place for get-togethers.
The great thing about this restaurant is that they’re open until midnight every day. Even if you get out of work late or are looking for a place to gather late into the evening, Pak-chee Village will be open and available for you to enjoy their wide pakchee-based menu. If you are in the Shinjuku area and interested in trying out pakchee, why not visit Pak-chee Village to reap its health benefits and enjoy the delicious meals available there?