Japanese food places an emphasis on perfection, from the beautifully presented sashimi in a quality restaurant to the prize apple carefully wrapped in the local supermarket. Value is also revered. Walk into any random restaurant or ramen shop and you’re near-guaranteed a decent meal at a decent price. This ethic lends itself to some of the more foreign cuisines, Italian being one of them. There are exquisite pizzerias all over the Kanto area and Pizza Bar Komugi, based in Musashi-Urawa and Chiyoda, is one such brand.
The Saitama-based branch of the eatery is not even a 2-minute walk from Musashi Urawa station on the Saikyo and Musashino lines. There’s nothing spectacular about the décor apart from some interesting hand drawn pictures of various cartoon fish and chickens. It’s possible to squeeze in 24 diners, and behind the bar seating is the open plan kitchen and kiln which is responsible for producing what this restaurant prides itself on; delicious pizzas.
The menu is entirely in katakana but the choice is between the much more conventional toppings, anchovy and olive, salami and four cheeses (including real gorgonzola!) being some favourites. The pizzas are cooked the exact way mama used to make them- a thin, crisp base with punchy fresh ingredients placed generously on top. There’s a choice of different pizza sauces to experiment with, including a conventional tangy tomato and creamier cheese base. All are reasonably priced between 700 and 1000 yen, with the 300 yen (500 on a weekend) service charge including a morsel of tasty potato salad.
A dinner and drink will, therefore, leave you change from 2000 yen. But there is an extensive wine list to order from should you fancy making a night of it. There is also an array of authentic Italian entrees and meat dishes to explore which understandably will be a bit pricier, but the quality definitely warrants the expense.
Although you’d be hard pressed to find bad service in Japan, Komugi sticks out for being memorably good. There is a genuine warmth from when you first enter until the wait staff open the door for you to leave. It’s more akin to being in a friend’s living room for dinner rather than the usual dining experience with its repetitive cries of “sumimasen!”
Expats will definitely enjoy Komugi’s ace food but there is a real local vibe to the place. Young couples on a date, salary men and parties of 4 or more all flock to the bustling eatery. If you’re in search of fine pizza, it would be difficult to find somewhere better than this gem.
Pizza Bar Komugi Tabelog (Saitama restaurant)