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You must be kidding. Can people eat a sushi meal within 1000-yen budget (10 USD)? The answer is Yes! However, if you want to find exceptional sushi restaurants, I want to introduce standing sushi bars to you. There are a lot of high quality standing sushi bars in Tokyo. Before elaborating more on this topic, I would first like to explain the sushi dilemma to you.

Opening a sushi restaurant in Japan is similar to playing the game of “dead or alive.” Competition between sushi restaurants becomes more intensive in Japan year by year. One of the reasons is the declination of ingredients. Overfishing is the primary reason behind this phenomenon. Because fishers cast their nets to the ocean and catch fish disregarding their sizes, sushi chefs have to find substitution of their ingredients. Another reason is about season. Seafood will be fatty in certain season. Overfishing eliminates the quality of sushi due to the neglect of fishing season. Furthermore, the quality of sushi chefs is also a crucial element for the success of business. They need to monitor and maintain balance between the temperature of fish and rice, so customers can enjoy sushi in the best timing.

What should the creative Japanese people do? They think about opening a standing sushi bar. Yes, instead of sit on a chair and eat sushi, customers can eat sushi while standing. If you are a sushi-lover and an adventurer, you must try these standing sushi bars. There are four reasons to try these standing sushi bars: lower-price, high quality, speedy, and convenient. I have done my research, and I have found the meritorious five-sushi bars in Tokyo for you. All you need is bringing 1000 yen to those restaurants, and then you can relish decent and fresh sushi.

Standing Sushi Bars: Okame Sushi おかめ

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Most of you know that Tsukiji is one of the best fish markets in the world. Thousands of fish and other seafood have been delivered in that area. Okame Sushi locates at the Tsukiji area, so their ingredients are 100% fresh and seasonal. Maguro (tuna) or salmon only cost you 100-yen (1 USD). One of the special deals in this restaurant is the tuna sushi meal. You can enjoy tuna, medium fatty tuna, fatty tuna, partially grilled tuna, and tuna warship-roll in 1000-yen (10 USD).

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

I know that some of you don’t like tuna. But you need to know that most of the tuna you eat back home is yellow-fin tuna, which consists sour flavor. Yellow-fin tuna is also the lower level type in the tuna world. You don’t need to worry about these issues in this store because they select good Bluefin tuna for customers. When you first try it, you will gradually like it.

Although the operation hour of this store is longer than others, I would recommend you to come here before 12 noon in order to visit the markets. Most of the stores will close at 1 or 2 p.m. in Tsukiji. Besides sushi restaurants, you can also purchase various souvenirs at Tsukiji.

Okame Sushi Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Okame Sushi on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram (Japanese).

Nearest Station: 3-minutes walk from Tsukiji Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: Opens on Monday to Saturday from10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Opens on Sunday and Holidays from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Nemurohanamaru 根室花まる

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

It only takes fifteen minutes walk from Tsukiji to Ginza. We will go to the second standing sushi bar, Nemurohanamaru. It’s located at B2 floor in a new mall, Tokyu Plaza. If you are a sushi lover, you must want to try authentic seafood from their original places in Japan. This is what this tiny sushi bar can help you with. For example, you can order Sailfin poacher in Nemurohanamaru, which is a local specialty from Otaru, Hokkaido. They will import different ingredients according to the seasons and water areas. You can find hundreds of sushi restaurants that provide same types of sushi. However, if you want to have new sushi experience without traveling to other areas in Japan, Nemurohanamaru is your first choice.

Nemurohanamaru Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Nemurohanamaru on social media at Facebook (Japanese) , Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

Nearest Station: 4 minutes walk from Ginza station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:00(L.O.22:00)

Uogashi Nihon-Ichi 魚がし日本一

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Besides searching variety of sushi, a sushi lover also loves to go to the original restaurants. Uogashi Nihon-Ichi is the ancestor of standing sushi bar. Its headquarter is located at the Tsukiji Market. They order bids and monitor the quality of ingredients in the market. Since the manager of Uogashi Nihon-Ichi has the business network with fishers and providers in Tsukiji, he always gets good quality seafood from the market. “Freshest” is the fascia of their restaurants.

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

In addition, you can have a dinner set from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m within 680 yen, which contains 5 pieces of nigiri sushi (hand-form sushi) with a cup of beer. Furthermore, the sushi staffs from this restaurant are friendly and approachable. If you want to chat with them and inquire sushi information from them, you should come and visit this store.

Uogashi Nihon-Ichi Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Uogashi Nihon-Ichi on social media at Facebook (English), Twitter, and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 3 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

For your convenience, here is list of locations

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:20(L.O)

Tachiguimidori 美登利 エチカ池袋店

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

Midori is one of the premium sushi brands in Japan. Individuals line up at the Midori branches every day. In order to satisfy the demands of diverse customers, Midori also opens a standing sushi bar for those busy businessmen, and those who like to eat cheap and delicious sushi in Ikebukuro station. It’s not a huge bar, so you probably need to line up and wait for a while. But you will be rewarded. First of all, diversity is one of the selling points of Midori. There are thirty-six choices of sushi in the menu.

Second, Midori’s sushi is economical. I don’t think you can find any 50-yen tuna (0.4 cents) or 70-yen horse mackerel (0.6 cents) in other sushi restaurants. The medium fatty tuna only costs customers 100 yen (1 USD). If you want to have a piece of fatty tuna, you only need to pay 300 yen (3 USD). Tachiguimidori also have set lunch offer. You can have eight pieces of sushi within 500-yen (5 USD).

Finally, It’s located at the underground shopping center. If you just want to eat fast and rejuvenate your strength in order to go shopping again. Here is your first choice. Hence, Midori can be considered one of the best sushi chains in Japan.

Tachiguimidori Information

You can visit the official website here. Website (English). Follow Tachiguimidori on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 6-minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station, exit west (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 11:00~23:00(L.O 22:30)

Sakura Sushi さくら寿司

High Quality Standing Sushi Bars in Tokyo

If you love to eat pagrus major (マダイ), splendid alfonsino (キンメダイ), or milt (白子), Sakura Sushi is definitely one of your favorite restaurants. Comparing to tuna and salmon, pagrus major and splendid alfonsino are the milder fish. When you put the sushi into your mouth, let the fatty part of the fish to fill your taste bud. When you are chewing the sushi, the sweetness of the fish will gradually come out. Since these two types of fish are milder, please remember to eat them first before partaking other sushi. If you mix up your eating sequence, the flavors of the stronger ingredient will affect your palate. As a result, you can’t enjoy the fullness of sushi.

Milt is the semen of a fish or a water creature. A lot of people consider this as a good culture experience. However, if you don’t like the smell or taste of milt sushi, you can still have around 50 choices in this restaurant.

Sakura Sushi Information

You can visit the Tabelog website here. Website (English). Follow Sakura Sushi on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter, and Instagram.

Nearest Station: 4-minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station, Exit West (click on the Google Map below for walking directions).

Hours of Operation: 10:00~22:00

What do the standing sushi bars can help you? Eat cheap, eat fast, and eat fresh!

March 17, 2017 0 comment
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Starving, but only have 500 Yen (5 USD) left in your wallet? Or are you just looking for a restaurant that serves delicious food at a cheap price? Let me show you the ten best cheap restaurants in Tokyo.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants : Sukiya (すき家)

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Sukiya is a restaurant that serves gyudon (beef bowl). Gyudon is a bowl of rice with onions and slices of beef with sauce on top. Sukiya is a popular fast food chain in Tokyo, with more than 270 locations in the capital. You only need 350 yen to order a regular size of gyudon. You can also order curry and rice or pork and rice without spending more than 500 yen.

Japanese people eating at Sukiya often put a raw egg on the top of the beef bowl. Don’t worry–it’s perfectly fine, and tasty too! When mingling the slices of beef with a raw egg, the rice entirely absorbs the essence of egg and beef sauce. You will find out that you are entirely addicted to this bowl.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Sukiya Information

You can visit Sukiya’s website here Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours.

 

Yoshinoya吉野家

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

If you like gyudon, you will also like Yoshinoya. Yoshinoya is found in 1899. In other words, it is one of the oldest fast food chains in Japan. It also mainly serves gyudon. Comparing to Sukiya, Yoshinoya’s beef is fatter, and the sauce is sweeter. In addition, it will also be a good idea to add some red ginger on the top of the beef in order to kill bacteria in your mouth. But it really depends on your preferences. One thing I really like about Yoshinoya is that the food comes fast because the food will be delivered to you within 5 minutes after you ordered your food.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Besides gyudon, Yoshinoya serves diverse dishes and also offer seasonal dishes to customers. One weird phenomenon though, ladies usually do not visit Yoshinoya. Thus, when you enter the store, you will see that 95% of the customers are male. Hence, if you feel awkward, grab someone to come with you.

Yoshinoya Information

You can visit Yoshinoya’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

CoCo Ichibanya CoCo壱番屋

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

If you don’t like gyudon, CoCo Ichibanya seems like to be another good choice for you. It exclusively serves curry and rice to their guests. But Japanese curry is unique. When people think about curry, they will instantly think about spicy and hot. This is not the case in Japan, particularly in CoCo Ichibanya. You can select spicy and sweet curry. You can also choose the spicy or sweet level of your own dishes. If you want, you are able to add money to increase the size of your rice and choose other side dishes too. Anyway, it only costs you 484 yen to order pork curry and rice.

CoCo Ichibanya Information

You can visit CoCo’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese) and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

Fuji Soba名代富士そば

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Who don’t want to eat healthy? Fuji Soba is a good place to provide nutritious noodles with economical price because the soba are made of buckwheat, which consist elements that can reduce cholesterol and maintain bone health. It is also beneficial to your digestive system. These are only few from the list; buckwheat can have much more benefits to human bodies.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Most of the options from the menu are lower than 500 yen. As a result, eating cheap and healthy will not be an issue to you anymore.

Fuji Soba Information

You can visit Fujisoba’s wbesite here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

Hanamaruはなまる

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Individuals always look for a restaurant that can be sensitive to the needs of guests. Hanamaru is one of them. Guests can always choose either eating a light or heavy udon meal in this fast food restaurant. Hanamaru has listed out the calories that each of their udon set consists.

Hanamaru is a half self-serve restaurant. When you go in, please tell the stuff that which udon set you want. You also need to tell them whether hot or cold udon you want to choose. After they give you the bowl, you can choose your own side dishes, such as tempura and hot spring egg by tongs. If you are thirsty, you can help yourselves to fill up water or tea into your cup. Afterward, you pay and find your own seat.

Hanamaru Information

You can visit Hanamaru’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Chikara Meshi 東京チカラめし

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Our next stop is Chikara Meshi. You might start to wonder what in the world am I doing to introduce beef again. Well, have you tried a grill beef bowl on an iron board? I am not kidding. Yes, the stuff of Chikara Meshi will put the beef on an iron board in order to maintain the heat of the meat and cook the vegetables for you. You can consider eating at Chikara Meshi as having an individual teppanyaki meal. The only difference is that ordering a grill beef set with vegetable and miso soup costs you 500 yen.  Oppositely, teppanyaki restaurants cannot provide you the meal with the exact same price. If you don’t want to try to iron board meal, you can still try other grill bowls.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Chikara Meshi Information

You can visit Chikara Meshi’s website here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram.

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Matsuya 松屋

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Since 2005, Matsuya starts to expand their business network to the United States. Individuals might have already heard about this restaurant. Although Matsuya sells similar meals as Yoshinoya and Chikara Meshi, Matsuya still has its selling point. They provide vegetable salad with three to four different dressings. They also offer miso soup with unlimited refill. Thus, if you don’t like eating too much meat, Matsuya’s food can be a blessing for your digestive system. Besides beef or pork bowl, Matsuya also serves customers with diverse curry sets and other seasonal set meals. Guests can always find surprise while eating in Matsuya. When you pass by one of them, make sure to try it out.

Matsuya Information

You can visit Matsuya’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open 24 Hours

MOS Burger モスバーガー

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Restaurants endeavor to localize foreign food in order to satisfy local people’s flavors. For example, eating American food in Japanese style. MOS Burger is one of them. Have you heard about rice burgers? Pardon? Yea, you can find burgers made of rice in this fast food chain. The stuff from this restaurant also adds teriyaki sauce or other Japanese meat sauces and vegetables into the hamburgers. A simple burger can produce complicated flavors due to various dimensions of ingredients.

If you don’t want to drink soda, MOS Burger can offer you a cup of corn soup. Don’t forget the French fries as well because you can also find one of the thickest fries in here. Disregarding the set meal itself, you can exclusively buy a Japanese burger within 5 USD,

MOS Burger Information

You can visit MOS Burger’s website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 5 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Saizeriya サイゼリヤ

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Living in Japan sometimes causes you to be homesick because you occasionally miss the food back home. You want to have pasta, pizza, steak, and cheesecake. Well, Saizeriya can satisfy all of your appetite because it is an Italian fast food chain. Customers only need to spend 500 yen ordering a set lunch, which include one main course, unlimited cups of soup, and one dish of vegetable salad. All other pasta and pizza only cost you 500 yen.

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Have you heard about Doria? Doria is similar to gratin, but people put rice instead. People add sauce, cheese, vegetables, and meat on the top, and then put in the oven and bake it. My dear friends, Doria is prominent in the Japanese world. I highly recommend you to try it. Besides the food you have ordered, you just need to add 190 yen to have unlimited, self-service drinks.

Saiziriya Information

You can visit Saiziriya’s website here. Website (Japanese). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese)Twitter, and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Tenya天丼てんや

Cheap Tokyo Restaurants

Tendon is one of the luxury cuisines in Japan due to its ingredients. One bowl of tendon consists one to two pieces of shrimp, some seafood, and vegetables. If you go to a high-class restaurant, one set mean can cost you few thousand yen to 20,000 yen. However, you can make a deal with Tenya in 500 yen. With the unique tempura sauce on the top of the rice, you will recognize that tendon is a miracle!

Tenya Information

You can visit the website here. Website (English). Follow them on social media at Facebook (Japanese), Twitter , and Instagram (Japanese).

For your convenience, here is the List of Locations.

Hours of Operation: Open Everyday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Eating in low-priced restaurants with delightful food will definitely uplift the quality of your trip. Therefore, if you haven’t been one of those restaurants, you probably miss out a chance to experience of Japanese fast food culture. Furthermore, when you go to one of those restaurants, please remember to say “hi” to me!

March 6, 2017 0 comment
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Bill's Omotesando Tokyo Japan

Have you been in Japan for a while, and have been missing food from back home? Bill’s Omotesando is an Australian restaurant that has made its way up to Japan, and is famous for its breakfast food. Many people call it “the best breakfast in the world,” and people claim that celebrities fly to Australia just to eat there. I can say from personal experience that Bill’s has the best pancakes, made from a special ricotta cheese recipe, that I have ever had.

Bill’s Omotesando is easy to find since it is located in the Tokyu Plaza building, with the front exterior covered in angled mirrors. Bill’s has separate menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and a kids menu too. All seating is available in the indoor main dining room, mezzanine dining room, and the terrace.

Reservations can be made online here. Reservations are accepted up to two months in advance, but specific tables cannot be booked. There are other locations in Japan at Odaiba, Shichirigahama, Yokohama, and Futakotamagawa.

So if you are missing a genuine western breakfast, check out Bills Restaurant in Omotesando. Seriously, get the pancakes. You will not regret it.

Bill’s Omotesando Location Information

Website | Instagram | Phone: 03-5772-1133

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Station, 5-minute walk from Harajuku JR Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00am- 11:00pm (last orders 10:00-10:30pm), Weekends and Holidays: 8:00am- 11:00pm (last orders 10:00-10:30pm)

“Why Go?”: OMG the pancakes. Did we mention the pancakes? Because we really, really liked the pancakes. Pancakes.

Click on one of the tags below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

August 4, 2016 0 comment
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Shake Shack Storefront
Sizzling-hot American burger chain, Shake Shack, opened its doors this April in the Ebisu district of Tokyo, the second branch branch in the city. Located right at the foot of the Ebisu train station’s west exit, Shake Shack brings its traditional New York City burgers and shakes to Tokyo. The shop is hard to miss, with the giant Shake Shack sign outside, as well as the crowd of people lining up to try some of America’s most renowned burgers.

Menu
So, what should you expect to find at Shake Shack’s newest Tokyo location? You can enjoy your favorite Shake Shack classics, such as their all-natural Shack Burgers, fresh crinkle-cut fries as well as a variety of shakes, including the Tokyo exclusive, Black Sesame Shake! The location also sells freshly-spun custard, which they refer to as “concretes”, like their Japanese-inspired mouth-watering Ebisu exclusive, “E-bean-su”, which consists of vanilla custard, red bean caramel sauce, marshmallow sauce, salted shortbread cookies and finished off with soy bean powder. Yum! Local wine and beer is also available for sale, as well as some fun Japanese-inspired Shake Shack merchandise, like wash cloths, pens, phone-cases, and even shirts in the iconic black and bright-green Shake Shack colors.

Review
Shake Shack Burger Smiley

So how was it? The staff at EnAbleJapan decided to see for ourselves and we were not disappointed. The burgers were exactly like the ones you would find back in the states. The patties were juicy, and the ingredients fresh. The iconic crinkle-cut fries were nice and salty whilst the strawberry cheesecake milkshake we sampled was creamy with the right amount of sweetness and thickness. So if you are ever in Tokyo and missing the taste of a true American burger, or just want to see what all the Shake Shack craze is about, be sure to stop in!
Shake Shack Burger Lineup

Shake Shack Ebisu Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Nearest Station: 1 minute walk from Ebisu Station (Yamanote, Hibiya, Saikyo, and Shonan-Shinjuku lines).


Hours of Operation: 10:00 A.M.- 10:30 P.M. daily.
Estimated Price:¥700-¥1500
“Why Go?”: If you are looking for a great burger or need a change-of-pace from all of the sushi and noodles of Japan.
Click on one of the tags below to explore other restaurant options in Tokyo – 

June 1, 2016 0 comment
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devilcraft pizza tokyo japan

“So why do we keep doing all of this devil-themed stuff?”

“It’s just advertising. The Devil is an iconic figure associated with temptation and pleasures. Seven Deadly Sins, right? Good food, good drink, good (and perhaps naughty) times. Using the Adversary’s icons are just a shorthand for all of that.”

“What about angels?”

“Their iconography is a little different. They’re associated with comfort, stability, and being good boys and girls. You know, like those figurines my grandma keeps in her curio shelf. Not exactly themes that sell beer and pizza.”

“There’s plenty of nice things that use angels in advertising! Like…” her brow furrowed. “Toilet paper! And that sponge cake!”

My mouth activated before my common sense did. “The Victoria’s Secret Angels!”

Mrs. Winston’s eyes narrowed. Date Night was not off to a good start. Also, cross Lust off of the Seven Deadly Sins list for that evening.

——————-

Like all forms of damnation, DevilCraft Hamamatsucho is easy to find. Just use the Yamanote line to get to Hamamatsucho station and go out of the South Exit, and then the Kanasugibashi Exit. Directly after exiting, turn left and follow the train tracks all the way to the end of the street. When you run into the My Basket grocery store, turn right. It’s only a few meters away.

Rise Well Storefront, Hamamatsucho, Tokyo, Japan

DevilCraft is in the “Rise Well” building, and the restaurant-pub is underneath the building’s huge logo. They have their own pitchfork-in-a-red-circle near the door, but you’ll already know where you are. You’ll see the crowd. Fortunately, we had called ahead to make reservations, otherwise we would had nothing but Envy for the people already inside. Both Japanese and English is spoken at DevilCraft, so we had no problem communicating over the phone or for the duration of our visit.

Immediately inside are a handful of tables and a bar in front of a glorious wall of beer taps. The day we went, DevilCraft had 21 different drafts available, and we aren’t talking about the same beers that are on tap everywhere else. We’re talking about drafts such as my first selection, Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale. An American pale ale from Seattle, Superfuzz had just the right amount of orangey-taste, not too fruity. The missus had a pint of the Hitachino Nest White Ale, a Belgian White brewed in Ibaragi. Japan. Nice and light, a perfect beer for a hot day.

While drinking, we perused the food menu. DevilCraft specializes in Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas. These aren’t the flat, circular pies you get through delivery–deep-dish pizza means layers of pizza goodness stacked one atop the other, like a cake made of meat and cheese and tomato sauce and maybe some of that stuff that vegetarians eat. I was already feeling the stirrings of Greed.

DevilCraft Hamamatsucho, Tokyo, Japan

I had already seen a few of the other patrons eating. The couples had small (I wouldn’t say “personal-sized”) pizzas, and groups had the larger sizes. They had the Big Cheese, Abe Fromans, and the Veggie Works. But I knew what I wanted.

“A Large Meatzza, please!” Of course! Pepperoni and salami! House sausage! Extra cheese!

“This can’t possibly be healthy.”

“So? This isn’t a health food place. Besides, clogged arteries kill you at the end of your life, when you’re ready to go anyway. I refuse to die with a mouthful of bean sprouts.”

After polishing off our starter beers, we started looking around for recommendations on the second. One of the owners, Paul, just happened to be nearby, so I asked him. “With a Meatzza? An IPA,” he replied. “An Indian Pale Ale is a good match for the saltiness of the meat.” Keeping with the theme, I went with the house-designed Evil Twin, while the missus (not being fond of IPAs) went with a Blonde Ale from the Diamond Knot Brewery in Mukilteo, Washington.

We chit-chatted with Paul for a little bit. DevilCraft’s Hamamatsucho location is actually their second restaurant (Kanda being the first), and that very day they were celebrating Hamamatsucho’s second anniversary (the Kanda location has recently celebrated its fourth year). Not a bad run for three guys who aren’t even from Chicago.

Paul drifted away to check on the kitchen and talk to the other customers. At the same time, our Meatzza arrived not in a cloud of brimstone, but rather in a blast of steam and drool-inducing meaty aroma. It was immediately evident that I wasn’t going to be able to pick this pizza up by the slice and eat it. Oh no, this sort of pizza was made for the (conveniently available) knife and fork.

DevilCraft Hamamatsucho Chicago-style pizza, Tokyo, Japan

One cut, one fork-lift, and one bite later, and I was hooked. Paul was right on the money with the IPA recommendation–it matched perfectly to the meaty, gooey-cheesy goodness that satisfies the carnivorous pizza-fan’s cravings. It was so good, I started searching the walls for the fiddle of gold (or at least a pie-pan of gold) that DevilCraft’s founders must have won from Old Scratch’s Pizzeria.

And the crust? Oh, man. You know how sometimes, when you order a pizza, and everybody eats slices, and then crusts are left behind? Pizza places have tried to solve this for years by rolling cheese into the crust, or providing dipping sauces, etc. DevilCraft solved the problem in a straightforward fashion–they made the crust so damn good that you won’t let it go to waste. You will eat it. You will take someone else’s if they don’t guard it carefully. I guarantee it.

DevilCraft Hamamatsucho Chicago-Style Pizza, Tokyo, Japan

Halfway through this eating experience, we ran out of beer again. So we had another one, because I am a conscientious reviewer. I had the A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Wheat IPA out of the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, CA; my wife shifted down to the half-pints and selected the Ursus Americanus from Poulsbo, Washington. Honestly, the lengths we go to for accuracy and completeness.

DevilCraft Hamamatsucho, Tokyo, Japan

What? Were they good? Well, what do you think?

And soon, the Meatzza was all gone. But in its place, I felt the warm glow of that most divine of post-meal sensations–Meaty Satisfaction.

——————-

“Hold on,” I leaned against the wall, panting. My belly was already distended, and the walk back to the train station wasn’t helping. “I think I hurt myself.”

“Of course you did,” my wife replies. She leaned against the wall next to me. She was trying to look stern, but I could tell that it was taking all of her willpower to keep her hands away from her stomach. “You had three beers and four slices of your own, and then you finished off one of my slices!”

“Oh, so now it’s on me? It is not my fault that you can’t hold up your own end of a meal.”

After a few minutes of groaning and cursing our own Gluttony, we resumed our penguin waddle back to Hamamatsucho station. Hopefully, we wouldn’t drop off into a Slothful pizza coma on the train and end up doing circles on the Yamanote all night.

—————–

Whether you miss it from back home or want to show your Japanese friends what great deep-dish pizza is like, you can’t go wrong with a DevilCraft pie and a craft beer. But be warned! You may want to bring your big boy pants to this meal, because you’re going to want to let a little out after a pizza this good. DevilCraft can take Pride in being on my “must go back to” list. Call ahead and make a reservation–if you take my seat, you’re going to get a bit of my Wrath (I did it! I got all Seven of them in one article!).

DevilCraft website (English) – http://en.devilcraft.jp . Directions to the Hamamatsucho and Kanda locations are in the sidebar. Operating hours, lunch and dinner times vary by location. Also has the current beer listing!

DevilCraft on Facebook

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Derek Winston is retired from the US Navy and currently attends college in Tokyo. If you see him on the street, approach with caution; there’s no telling what you will end up talking about. It might be safer to limit your exposure by contacting him at derekrwinston@gmail.com. Might be.

September 29, 2015 0 comment
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Glass Dance Featured Image

“500 yen. Is cover charge.” This is the first thing I hear when I get in out of the rain. Not a good start, but I’m here on a mission.

“I’m fine with that. I hear you have the Devil’s own brew here.”

The waiter eyed me quizzically. As it turned out, he only knew enough English to tell foreigners that there is a cover charge. I guess that is usually enough to drive them off.

I agreed to the charge and got a seat at the bar at the Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar. Their website helpfully tells you that it is a 2-minute walk, or “a 45 second sprint” from Shinagawa JR station’s Kōnan gate. However fast your Beer Emergency compels you to move, you will depart from the station exit, go down the steps, and walk a block and a half straight ahead. And there it is, across the street from one of the Big Echo Karaoke stations, on your left.

Entrance to Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

“I’ll have the Satan Beer Red,” I told him. “Don’t worry, I understand hyperbole. I don’t believe Lucifer himself created this brew. I understand that a distributor has to give his product an attention-getting name and a cool bottle label in order to attract interest in an increasingly jaded beer-drinking public. And it worked! I saw the bottle in the display window. Good for you. Let’s get on with the temptations to my immortal soul.”

Bewildered by the stream of gibberish I just laid on him, the waiter moved away to fill my order. This gave me a chance to look around. The bar itself has a faux-rustic style that is just subtle enough to not be irritatingly overdone. The decor is the SOTW (Stuff On The Walls) standard, primarily pictures of the insides of breweries. And over to the side–a kitchen?

Beer Selection at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Interior of Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Yes, they have a kitchen at Glass Dance. A kitchen that has an actual chef, not just some dude heating Hot Pockets in a microwave or a kid working a deep fryer. Intrigued, I flip through the English-subtitled food menu. Given the pub atmosphere, I decided to go with the fish and chips (780 yen). The bar also offers other selections from standard bar fare (margherita pizza, chicken wings, etc).

Old Scratch’s libation arrived. The Satan Beer Red was pricey (1150 yen) and ehh. Surely the Lord of Darkness would not allow such swill to represent him on earth. Perusing the drink menu, the price for Satan Red (and its companion brew, Satan Gold) seemed to be on the low-end of a large selection of imported bottled beers. A switch to the less-pricey tap seemed to be in order, and right at that moment my food arrived.

I wasn’t expecting much from people who jerk me up short for 500 yen at the door. But the fish and chips were actually pretty damn good. And there were plenty of fries, not just the five or six that one usually receives at other places. On a recommendation from the waiter, I try a Poperings Hommel Bier from the tap (930 yen). It came in a strange onion-shaped glass. An amber, but light and tasty. Things were starting to look up.

Fish and Chips at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Poperings Hommel Bier at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Next, I surveilled the bar. There were a number of different drafts available, the sign of any good watering hole. De-Koninck Authentic Antwerps, the Poperings Hommel I was drinking, Extra Vedett White. The Hoegaarden mega-pint (seemingly the most accessible European beer in all of Tokyo) could be had for 1380 yen. And still others, both from marked and unmarked taps. This selection, mixed with their imported bottled beer list, gives Glass Dance a broad range of interesting offerings.

It was still raining when I finished the Poperings Hommel. So, another beer with my Dao De Ching? Don’t mind if I do. I had a Leffe Blonde (930 yen). A perusal of the Leffe website gives off airs of a brewer who wishes he was a vintner, but the beer had a nice, light flavor that went well with my decidedly-plebian meal selection. That, and even though I had been munching and reading for a bit, I still had a pot full of fries. I certainly didn’t feel ripped off on that count, cover charge or no.

Glass Dance is one of those bars that opens in the early evening and stays open all the way until just before the station starts operating again in the morning. It would be a reasonable (if expensive) place to spend an all-nighter if you miss that last train, or a place to stagger to if it’s late but you don’t quite feel like going home just yet. Although the prices will keep it from being a regular stop, I’ll be going back for the beer selection and to check out the kitchen’s other offerings.

Atre at Shingawa Station

Satan Beer Red at Glass Dance, Shinagawa Station Atre, Tokyo

Beer Menu at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Draft beer at Glass Dance Craft Beer Bar in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Glass Dance Beer Tap in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Glass Dance Blackbaord in Shinagawa, Tokyo

Location: Two-minute walk from Shinagawa Station JR. Open Monday-Saturday 1700-0400, 1700-2330 on Sundays and public holidays. Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and other major credit cards.

Google-garbled translated website: http://translate.google.co.jp/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&u=http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g600151/&prev=search (includes map)

 

March 20, 2015 0 comment
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There are plenty of great places to go for a bite to eat in Shibuya. Of course you can head to the giant central crossing and find a bunch of restaurants and cafes in a one block radius, but maybe you are in the mood for something that is a little bit out of the way, a place where you can lean back, have a nice glass of wine, and soak in the atmosphere of a quiet street as you dine or munch on a little mid day snack. The perfect balance of good food and a great atmosphere, located just outside of the hustle and bustle of Shibuya’s center, can be found at Scotchbank. This little cafe and restaurant combo is the perfect place to find a little peace and quiet while enjoying a good meal after a day of exploring the fashion metropolis of Shibuya.

The fare at Scotchbank airs on the side of French bistro meets Japanese cafe. As far as lighter dishes go, try their variety of sweet or savory pancakes paired with some of their fantastic tea or coffee beverages. However, Scotchbank has great lunch and dinner options as well. Start off with some of their tapas which range from sauteed mushrooms to caprese salad to mixed roasted nuts if you are looking for something smaller to munch on. But if you have a bigger hunger that needs satisfying, then Scotchbank has some great options for you! Scotchbank offers you classic dishes like grilled steak and pasta dishes while offering you a few dishes that are out of the ordinary such as baked sweet potato with honey butter or home made panchetta salad. To accompany your meal, you can always order their coffee beverages all day long or a glass of wine or beer.

If you want a different kind of dining experience without leaving the vicinity of Shibuya, then why not give Scotchbank a try?

Address:Duplex 1F, 3-26-17 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6596942, 139.70195639999997
Telephone:03 – 6427 – 1175
Email:info@cafe-scotchbank.jp
Web: http://www.cafe-scotchbank.jp/

October 22, 2014 0 comment
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For those of us from the US, and more particularly New York City, there is nothing more refreshing than a deli where you can get a self serve plate of freshly roasted meats, tossed salads, and a warm pastry on the side. If you grew up or live near one of these places in the States, it can be hard to go without your local deli by your side when you need something super fresh and fast. Just past Ebisu Station you can have that same kind of sit down deli experiences right in Tokyo! Introducing the Grano Deli in Ebisu where all of your fresh and fast food cravings will be satisfied!

The system at Grano Deli in Ebisu is pretty simple. At lunch time you start off your with your plate, which is set at an extremely reasonable price, then pick your main dish from either a meat, fish, or curry option. Then you move on to a choice of either rice or bread and then comes the fun part! Afterwards you get a choice of two of their freshly made salad or “deli” options which can be anything from a fresh ratatouille, couscous with beets and grilled vegetables, or a watercress hijiki seaweed salad! Sounds good right? If you don’t want a full meal, you can pick from their deli options and pay by weight, ¥180 for 50g or ¥220 for 50g.

If you are going to the Grano Deli as a dinner option you have an even wider selection of options! Along with their all day long deli deals, you can order small and large plates as well as dishes that are specially designed to be paired with their wines that are served in house. Dig into dishes like roasted venison with black pepper honey sauce, genovese pesto with shrimp and zucchini, or conger eel fritter with banana chili sauce. If you are one of those people who loves to have breakfast for dinner, then check out their bacon and egg pancakes or apple mango pancakes with mango cream cheese sauce.

When looking for innovation and variety in a restaurant, no place in Tokyo can beat out Grano Deli in Ebisu!

Address:150-6090 東京都渋谷区恵比寿4-20-5
GPS:35.6429826, 139.7125532
Telephone:03 – 5447 – 2800
Web: http://granodeli.jp/ebisu/

October 22, 2014 0 comment
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Step into any convenience store and head over to the sandwich area. There you will see the same little sandwiches packaged individually like they always are. But do you ever feel like you want more from your sandwich? Fret no more and head to Ueno for some serious sandwich action. At Iacoupé, only a few minutes away from the JR Yamonote Line Ueno Station, they take their sandwiches seriously and simple. For a delicious bite to eat on the go, Iacoupé is where you need to be.

Iacoupé does not have tables and chairs, but sells their sandwiches from a counter painted with chalk board that is written and drawn on by the staff. While their menu may not be long with only nine different kinds of sandwiches on the menu, what they offer is seriously delicious. Just like the egg or tuna salad sandwiches at your local convenience store, Iacoupé fills the hot dog style buns to the brim with all kinds of fillings and topping. First off, decide if you will be going sweet or savory because Iacoupé has offerings for both sides of the spectrum. If it is looking like a savory kind of day for you, take your pick from offerings such as beef cutlet, potato salad, or yakisoba. But if you need a sweet kind of sandwich, choose from selections like sweet bean paste and butter cream, peanut butter, or peach with whipped cream. Whichever way you go when selecting your sandwich you won’t be disappointed with either the taste or the quality. All of their fillings are made in house and each sandwich is assembled by hand.

If you want to take a vacation from your convenience store sandwich, board the train for Ueno. There, Iacoupé will hook you up with a seriously great sandwich!

Address:東京都台東区上野公園1−2GPS:35.7126957, 139.77476539999998
Telephone:03 – 5812 – 4880
Web: http://www.iacoupe.com

October 22, 2014 0 comment
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Uobei Sushi

Uobei Sushi

Uobei Sushi has done the seemingly impossible and made conveyor belt sushi seem boring.

Instead of the “classic” conveyor belt method, Uobei Sushi mixes things up in the most futuristic of ways. There are touch screens in front of each seat where you place your sushi order. And once it’s ready, your sushi is delivered to you via a clear plastic shoot. If the Jetson’s created a sushi restaurant, it would look something like Uobei Sushi.

Not only is the style of Uobei Sushi pretty cool, but the prices are too. Each order, which consists of two pieces of sushi, is only 108 yen. The menu is extensive – while you can get traditional options like tamago, salmon, and shrimp, you can also try some of their innovative creations. Dig into some miso crab rolls, tri-colored inari (tofu skin around rice), or wasabi hamburger sushi! Uobei Sushi also has seasonal options that are only around for a few months, so get it while its hot!

Uobei Sushi is also a great place to bring along sushi haters. They can happily much on mini udon & miso soups, french fries or karaage (fried chicken). And nothing goes better with sushi than some beer or sake, which makes everyone happy. If you want something sweet at the end of your meal, order some desserts such as melon slices, almond pudding, or a chocolate parfait.

If you are looking for a fun alternative to the already super fun conveyor belt sushi, head to Uobei Sushi in Shibuya’s Dogenzaka area for some futuristic delivery service!

Address:2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
GPS:35.6595885, 139.698850026
Telephone:03 – 3462 – 0241
Web: http://www.genkisushi.co.jp/uobei

October 22, 2014 0 comment
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