Leaving the pandemic aside, for some years the workplace has undergone important changes which have led us to make adjustments in the way we work, and certainly, working from home has become increasingly common. Personally I can say that this type of job concept can initially be very attractive, but over time it is very easy to lose motivation and focus. Our home is the place where we usually want to rest after a long day of work. However, if we are always there, that feeling of peace changes without bringing either tranquility or ability to focus.
I was very excited when I first started working from home. For example, I was getting up early everyday, eating breakfast and bathing, the same as if I had to commute to work afterwards. However, this healthy routine quickly changed to the point I was waking up just before working time and stayed all day in my pajamas. I knew this was not right and started going to coffee shops and restaurants to find motivation but I was easily distracted by what was happening around me. I began to wonder if there was a place outside my house I could go and work without interruptions for the whole day.
Eat Play Works is the perfect solution because they found the perfect combination of comfort, tranquility and professionalism, in its 6 floors there are restaurants, conference rooms, individual and group work spaces, rest rooms, kitchenettes, among other things. The design focuses on the work needs of new generations, all spaces have connections for electronic equipment with a wifi network that is incredibly stable.
The Eat Play Works “work” areas clearly honor its name. Despite being a relaxing, pleasant and cozy space that invites playfulness, it does not lose the professional touch. From the art on the walls to the comfort of the seats, tables and armchairs, nothing was missed in the attention to detail.
EPW is located in Hiroo one of the districts of Tokyo that has gained popularity for those who like good food and drink, especially among young people and international residents, as it is very close to Ebisu and Shibuya. In order to use the offices and work areas you must pay a membership that gives you unlimited access to the common work and rest areas as well as the free monthly events such as conferences, meditation sessions, etc., plus they also have facilities for a country club on the outskirts of Tokyo. In addition to that from 5 pm you can enjoy a happy hour of some drinks in the exclusive bar for members located on the third floor, nothing better to relax after a productive day. If you are hungry food can be ordered from the restaurants directly to where you are working, is there a better office?
In the first two floors of the building the concept is is “The Restaurant” a set of small restaurants are open for members and the general public. The setting resembles a modern take on the traditional and popular Yokochos, which are small streets or alleys overflowing with restaurants and izakayas (traditional gastro-bars in Japan) which are so small that usually there are no more than 10 seats. The variety of restaurants that you can find in EPW ranges from burgers, bubble tea, Japanese specialties like sushi or noodles, including international food, such as 3 star Spanish and Mexican food, to vegan food. The balance and range from casual snacks and a first class dinner is incredible, since all the restaurants coexist organically in a healthy competition of flavor. Best of all, this area is open to everyone.
On July 16, Eat Play Works opened its doors to a select group of people, to take a first look at the facilities and delight in the wonderful culinary selection that “The Restaurant” offers, I was fortunate to be invited by Arigato Japan Food Tours to share my experience first hand. To make it safe and comfortable for everyone all the attendees were divided into groups, which were assigned to 3 restaurants, masks were worn by staff and temperature checks at the door further enhanced safety.
I had a chance to try the following 3 spots but I am eager to go back and try many more!
As a Mexican I can say that it shows the effort that their chefs have made to study the traditional flavors of Mexican food and pay respect to it, which personally fills me with joy and pride. Oxomoco has its headquarters in New York where it opened in 2018, becoming one of the favorite restaurants to the point of earning a Michelin star within a few months of opening its doors. The New York outlet was awarded a Michelin star and I would not be surprised to hear that the Tokyo counter version might following along in the coming years!
To refresh the palate they served us a classic and delicious “Paloma” which is a tequila cocktail with grapefruit juice, they served it frappeado and sprinkled with lemon zest.
Then a salad of raw sole with a sauce of basil and avocado, rosemary, lemon zest, peppermint and toasted and broken amaranth seeds.
To finish the best carnitas taco that I have tried in Japan, served on a handmade blue omelette, covered with green sauce, with small pieces of pork rinds (fried pork skin), fresh coriander and onion accompanied by a slice of lemon. In the deep flavor of the meat you could feel all the hours that it was cooking in its own fat, simply delicious.
Without a doubt this place was amazing, chef Jerome Quilbeuf melted our palates with an explosion of flavors that attest to his experience in restaurants of great renowned as Sant Pau (Tokyo and Spain, which have 2 and 3 Michelin stars respectively). The concept is a fusion between local seasonal ingredients and products imported directly from Spain.
We were greeted with a delicious “Sakegría”, a local invention that consists of a sake curing with fresh fruits and refreshing sparkling wine.
To start, chef Jerome served us a White Garlic cold summer dish, which consisted of smoked bonito on a white garlic sauce, with yuzu-kosho and decorated with flowers, by itself the dish was delicious, but when taking a drink of Sakegría after eating it was an explosion of flavor that I had never experienced, a perfect pairing.
The session ended with an idea that I found very funny as well as delicious, “Iberian feather sandwich with mustard from Tasmania”, taking the simplicity of convenience store sandwiches in Japan and mixing it with the luxury of Iberian and mustard feather from Tasmania.
The restaurant is originally from Hakata on the island of Kyushu, place that is widely known for its ramen whose soup is made from pork bones, which gives it a milky color, but here they found a way to maintain a light color in the soup, which makes it stand out from all the others. The decoration of the place was the one that caught the most attention because the theme was based on pop art that perfectly combined with the simplicity of its flavors.
We started with a Dayame cocktail that is shochu flavored with lychee and mineral water. An excellent selection as the flavor was not overwhelming and allowed the other dishes to shine.
They served us shumai (stuffed, steamed dumplings) accompanied by a dashi ponzu sauce (which unlike traditional ponzu sauce of soy sauce with yuzu, traditional Japanese citrus) included dashi, the traditional Japanese consommé made with seaweed and dried fish).
If there is something I love about Japanese food it is Ramen, and this one in particular brought tears of happiness to me, it seems like a very simple dish at first glance, but the depth of flavor in its soup is incredible, they suggest you eat it in three steps, first taste as is without adding anything, then add the chives and eat another bit, the third part is to add the juice of the Sudachi lime, squeezing it with the peel turning towards the soup, the result left me speechless, in its simplicity it is its complexity. Not for nothing, in its parent store there are lines of diners waiting to taste all this deliciousness.
The quality of the places and the chefs made me feel very honored to have had the opportunity to taste their wonderful creations. Eat, Play, Works, is a space that not only offers high quality and comfort in its common work areas and offices, but the food area is, without a doubt, a place where you will want to hang out more than once. I am looking forward to many more visits in the future.