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Popular, tasty Italian restaurant... with placenta drinks!
Price: 750 yen
When I walked into this branch of Popolamama in the otherwise boring Unicus Kawagoe shopping mall, I was quite surprised how busy it was at 11.30 in the morning. I was equally surprised to realise that every single solitary patron was female. Always a good sign in Japan. I soon understood why.
Popolamama offers very reasonably priced lunches that seem to be quite healthy and most definitely delicious. The lunch set is a pasta dish with a side for 600 yen or for another 150 yen you can have, what they call here, "drink bar". The drink bar has all you can drink soft drinks, coffee and a great selection of tea, but it was the restaurant's specials that caught my eye. They have 2 health drinks on tap, which you rarely see here. One was a mixture of 15 fruit and vegetables and was much better tasting than I had anticipated. The other was absolutely delicious, if you can get past the fact that it has PLACENTA in it. Drinks with placenta in them are said to keep you looking beautiful and have health benefits. No doubt the placenta with muscat drink is one of the contributory factors to the restaurant's popularity among women. Supposedly its pig placenta and I was very reluctant to taste it, but I was very glad I did. Like most restaurants in Japan, they have some utensils and dishes for kids to use so you can share your food. If you prefer, you can order your child a kid's meal, which looked very appetising. They have high chairs and bumper chairs that clip onto the table with an additional support that rests on the chair beneath. They have full allergy information on their website. No English menus or English information online.
Popolamama is close to the West exit of Kawagoe station. Parking is shared with Unicus. You need to get a ticket as you come into the car park and get it validated in the restaurant for free parking.