Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Yokosuka Beer

Location: Yokosuka Beer

Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 4
Price:  8186 yen
Payment: Cash, credit cards unknown
Dishes: Meat and potato salad, smoked mackerel, bagna cauda, beer chicken, roast beef, tuna cheek, several beers between us all
English Menu: Yes (kind of, the English translations aren't very specific)
Smoking: Not that we could tell

A new restaurant has opened on our block!  We've been waiting for some months now for Yokosuka Beer to open and it did so last weekend.  Last night my wife, two friends and I got to try it out.  

Meat with potato salad

These reviews are for the food, so I'll just comment on the beer really quick here.  There is significant brewing equipment on the first floor, where you can just hang out and drink beer if you like.  I don't think the current batch of beers was brewed there however, most likely it is being shipped in from elsewhere.  There are a pale ale, ginger beer, wheat and a dark IPA.  Of the 4 I think the pale ale is my favorite.  The ginger beer is interesting if a bit too sweet.  The dark IPA is ok, though I think the pale ale is hoppier, and the wheat is my least favorite.  We are hoping they will start brewing more locally and we'll get some better brews out of them in the coming months.

Baugna cauda

As for the food, wow, it was not what we were expecting.  Upstairs there are lots of tables and we arrived around 7pm just in time for large group of business people having a "nomikai" (aka mandatory business drinking party) to get things really started.   Speeches were made, and lots of shuffling about of junior members serving the seniors.  It was...a cultural experience to be sure.  In any case, we ordered a bunch of dishes and realized this is more of an izakaya patterned restaurant.  You can add on rice and soup for a small fee to make more of a "real meal" out of anything though.  I'll just give the overall impression:  much better than we expected, everything was very good with bright flavors.  Ordering was a bit of a challenge because while there are English translations they are very loose and we were surprised several times by what ended up arriving.  Nonetheless we liked it all and got to try some "new to us" things such as bagna cauda (a garlic/anchovy based fondue like sauce that you dip steamed vegetables into).  The dishes veered towards the rustic italian/french for the most part, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.  A favorite was the "beer chicken" which two of us ordered.  This consisted of two leg/thigh pieces that were either marinated in or coated in a beer sauce.  The beery taste was quite evident as we at them.  The price on this one was quite reasonable too and combined with a rice/soup add on would make a full meal.  The biggest surprise was the tuna we ordered which turned out to be an entire cheekbone, one of our favorite parts of the tuna.  This was perfectly spiced with what tasted like herbs du provence and needed just a little soy sauce to dip into for some nice saltiness.

Smoked mackerel

We were quite pleased and had a great time.  Looking forward to returning and trying everything on the menu.

Beer chicken

Roast beef

Grilled tuna cheek

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