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Friday, March 4, 2011

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TOKYO FOOD FILE

American breakfast around the clock


The idea of the all-day breakfast — the kind found in countless roadside pit stops and blue-collar grills throughout North America — has taken a very long time to reach these shores. But finally that glaring gastronomic gap was filled last summer by the arrival of the aptly named On the Corner, just off Meiji-dori in Shibuya.

It's definitely got the look, with retro fittings, high-backed banquettes along the wall and comfy booths big enough to hold six at a squeeze. There are also large tables at the back that seem permanently occupied by students surfing on their laptops and filling the air with more cigarette smoke than the ceiling fans can cope with.

It's got the menu down too. Pancakes; muffins, eggs scrambled or sunny side up, with a great choice of trimmings; and, for the seriously famished, a Power Breakfast that means what it says: two eggs with country sausage, crispy bacon, grilled tomato, mashed potato, various veggies and cheese — all for ¥1,000. And if that weren't enough, the kitchen can also rustle up pasta, soup, salads and a range of main dishes.

Just one word of warning: The all-day breakfast actually isn't. There's a gap in the middle of the day (11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) when you can only order off the lunch menu. But it makes up for that by reinstating breakfast all the way through till past midnight.

The other reason we've started making detours to this particular address is for the coffee. The small separate counter in the hallway before you enter the restaurant proper is a branch of Bear Pond, the cult-classic barista shack in Shimokitazawa that serves the hippest — and the finest, many swear — espresso in the city. We wouldn't disagree.

On the Corner, 1-17-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku; (03) 6427-7273; www.onthecorner-shibuya.com. Nearest station: Shibuya (various lines). Open daily 9 a.m.-2 a.m. (lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.). No. 8 Bear Pond, www.bear-pond.com/no8. Open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


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