Ejo #63 – Drunk In….. Tokyo

I’m often asked for recommendations on places to eat and drink in foreign cities. I’d go so far as to say that I’m actually a great person to ask for recommendations. Why? Because I’m a helluva researcher. That’s why! When David and I plan to visit a new city, I start googling weeks, if not months, before. Hey, I never said I had a life! It’s actually something I really enjoy doing, and it helps fill my days. So to give you an idea of the amount of research I do, I start by googling, for instance, “best ramen tokyo”. Usually what comes up are lists – blogger lists, magazine article lists etc. And even though they might agree on one or two places, there’s usually a large range of places considered “best ramen tokyo”. A typical search yields about ten ramen joints. So how do I know that bloggers like seriouseats or ladyironchef enjoy the same kind of ramen that I do? Well, I don’t. I don’t know these people from a bar of soap. We could have wildly different tastes, so while I’m happy to check out their recommendations further, I need to do some more research on my own. I then go on to read (on average) five or six more articles/blogs on that particular place (times ten) and then narrow it down to one or two that I’d like us to visit.

It’s, shall we say, time consuming.

But aren’t you lucky?!! I’ve decided to publish a new series called Drunk In….. in which I make my recommendations for awesome little places around the world that you might otherwise miss (because you’re not as anal as I am). And I’m going to start with Tokyo which we’ve just recently visited. I’m not going to include fancy, high-end restaurants (though there might be the occasional fancy bar). The purpose of this series is to clue you in on where to get great food or great drinks when you’re out and about enjoying a new city. Of course one of the best things about being on holiday is the spontaneous discovery – and I always leave room for those. Some of the best experiences we’ve had are in places we just drunkenly stumbled upon. Kampai!!

Most yakitori places are a little rough around the edges – after all it’s basically barbecue food (though it feels blasphemous to even make that comparison). Fuku is a slightly classier affair (and even better, a non-smoking affair, a rarity in Tokyo). The chef expertly grills skewers of various parts of… READ MORE

This is no regular noodle joint. First of all it’s located in the basement of Tokyo Station in a section called Tokyo Ramen Street (and it’s not really easy to find – go to an information booth to get detailed directions). Secondly, they don’t serve regular ramen. This place specialises in… READ MORE

We literally stumbled upon this place our first night in Tokyo (it was about ten metres from our apartment). It doesn’t have a sign in English so I have no idea what it’s called, but the food and hospitality are so good we… READ MORE

So, more ramen. But different ramen. The Golden Gai branch of Nagi Ramen is a second-storey, ten-seat restaurant about the size of your… READ MORE

These two incredible bars are run by the Small Axe group, and if you are serious about your cocktails, you will most definitely want to make a stop at either (or both) bars. We, of course, in the name of research, went to both. The focus in both places is on… READ MORE

Golden Gai is a small city block (I make it out about 60m x 80m) in Shinjuku, Tokyo that should have been condemned and knocked down about 80 years ago. Within that area there are about 200 tiny little bars each with a capacity of just… READ MORE

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