Winter is coming. You can feel it in the crisp, cool air. You can see it in the windows of Japanese coffee shops displaying images of their Christmas beverages. You can smell it as scents ofwinter baked goods waft from bakeries. And this wouldn’t be Japan if you couldn’t taste it, in the hundred of special winter menu items that restaurants across the country are now offering. Though this year, winter tastes a little different. It tastes extra good in fact. And that’s thanks to an original winter dish from Tokyo based American Diner, Good Town Bakehouse: Purple Sweet Potato soup!

Murasaki Imo Soup

Readers are likely familiar with potato soups, often combined with leak or ham. But sweet potato soups are less common. This is even more true for purple sweet potato soups as the vegetable is a rarity that hails from Okinawa and is difficult to get a hold of, even in mainland Japan let alone outside of the country. This means for residents and visitors to Tokyo, Good Town Bakehouse’s soup is a unique and delicious way to try purple sweet potato whilst warming up this winter!

So what’s so special about the purple sweet potato? Referred to as murasaki imo or beni imo in Japan, the flesh of the potato is a vivid purple color. The color comes from the same compounds that make blueberries blue, anthocyanins. Like blueberries, murasaki imo are also classed as a super food. They are bursting with fiber, 4 times an adult’s daily dose of vitamin A, and half the daily dose of vitamin C. Super healthy, super colorful and super hard to find, the purple sweet potato is a Japanese food that everyone should try if they have the opportunity.

Good Town Bakehouse’s Super Purple Sweet Potato Soup

The Good Town Bakehouse sits opposite Yoyogi Uehara station and nearby Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. The restaurant is part of a chain of eateries in Tokyo seeking to bring flavors of America to Tokyo residents. In aid of this, the restaurant crafts a range of seasonal dishes from the US such as Pumpkin Pie or Butternut Squash soups.

For winter 2020, Good Town Bakehouse are going off-piste by using murasaki imo, creating a delicious seasonal soup using a uniquely Japanese ingredient.

Photo by Toby M

The soup is a vivid purple colour and served with a healthy dollop of creme fraiche. The flavor is truly unique and when we tried it, it was instantly addictive. It has a mild, earthy sweetness and is indulgently creamy. The aftertaste leaves hints of sweet potato as well as a certain richness like that of the rustic juice of a pair. Perfectly savory with the ghost of something sweeter: it will satisfy your taste buds and your appetite.

Photo by Toby M

The soup will go on the menu from December 1st 2020 for a month. A bowl costs ¥850, excluding tax. With Murasaki Imo as something of a rarity, anyone in Tokyo who has the opportunity to visit Good Town and try the vegetable in this unique and delicious dish won’t be disappointed. Good Town Bakehouse can deliver by Uber Eats if you’re in the area.

Restaurant Details

  • Address: 1 Chome-30-1 Uehara, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0064
  • Opening hours: 11:30AM–11PM (Mon - Fri), 11:30AM–11PM (weekends)
  • Phone: 03-6886-5330
  • Instagram

Photos are original taken by the author.

By - Toby M.