1-14-1 Ebisu Nishi
Details on Bento
Date of Last Visit: Tuesday, July 22
The Victim: Melinda, Claire, and a very nice girl whose name I forget. Sylvia maybe?
The Damage: Again, Monopoly money. I have no concept.
The Background: So while I’m doing my research about Tokyo, I come across this article in The Guardian. Buri sounds interesting, and after I read this too, I make a mental note to try to check it out while I’m in town.
I also figured that while I was in Tokyo, it would be fun to meet up with another blogger. Melinda of Tokyo through The Drinking Glass was kind enough to oblige. I meet her at Ebisu station Tuesday night and she leads me up and around and over the side streets until we enter a little bar.
A sake bar. A one-cup sake bar, specifically.
It’s Buri. (Sorry for the slightly blurry photo. I was a little blurry myself!)
I excitedly show her my print-outs and how I had wanted to come here all along. It’s all too coincidental…out of all the bars in Tokyo! She takes me here.
Melinda has been to Buri before and written it up on her own Web site . As the bar editor for Bento, the English-language Tokyo restaurant- and bar-resource, Melinda has probably been to many bars. So I’m very very pleased that she’s taken me here.
But I’ve been up since 3 a.m. for my Tsukiji tour. And I’m a little jet lagged. And I’m HOT. So after some grilled skewers of meat and vegetables and two great little cups of sake, I call it a night and head back to my hotel, where I proceed to sleep for 13 hours. (I would tell you what sake I had, but I gave my guidebooks to my friend Dave on my last night in Tokyo while we were at The New York Bar at The Park Hyatt, and I had the notes written on the first page of Time Out Tokyo. So Melinda, if you’re reading this and can remember, please comment!)
Melinda has another sake recommendation for me before I leave Tokyo, and that’s Hasegawa in Omotesando Hills, the luxury mall close to/in Harajuku.
I’m so excited to check out Hasegawa that I get there at 10:30 a.m. It doesn’t really occur to me that they may not be open this early in the morning. They’re not, and it’s so HOT that I go back to my hotel to cool off for a bit before returning after lunch.
I enter Hasegawa and I love it already. It’s tucked up on the 3rd floor of the mall, so there’s not a lot of foot traffic. So if you’ve found Hasegawa, you’re probably seeking it out. There’s an older gentleman to my right intently reading all about sake. There are two gentlemen to my left who are in a very celebratory mood. And then there’s me in the middle and the bartender, who speaks just enough English for me to order something dry and smooth first, and then something rich and fruity next.
Here’s what I had…
I liked the first so much that I bought Dave a little bottle as a "Welcome to Japan" present.
The Verdict: I loved both Buri and Hasegawa. Huge thanks to Melinda.
May I experience many happy returns.
And may I ask…what’s the closest I’ll come to a sake bar in London?