Thursday, July 24, 2014

Andy's - the izakaya with the best crab in the world

Tokyo has some of the finest cuisine in the world. When first included in The Michelin Guide in 2007 there was general consternation when the tally of stars exceeded that of other renown cities such as Paris and New York. People were surprised that such a gem had remained hidden for so long. A short stay on the ground will quickly persuade the uninitiated that it really is a place worth visiting if just for the food alone.

There is however an alternative to the expensive restaurants of places of the likes of Ginza or Marunouchi and that is to go native and search out the cheap and cheerful izakayas where ever they may be found. Exploring the backstreets of Shibuya or Shinjuku can often turn up tiny places full of life and laughter as well as the thick smoke of charcoal fires cooking everything from squid to chicken livers. Venture inside and you'll always be welcomed with a smile and an invitation to take a seat.

One of my favourite areas of Tokyo though is underneath the railway arches of Yurakucho. And one of the best places to visit is "Andy's". It's always packed with people relaxing, laughing and enjoying a beer. Andy, a long term English resident of Japan, greets you with a smile to make you feel welcome as you squeeze your way to your seat. As the evening moves on, soon you'll find everyone is talking to everyone else as the separate tables seem to merge into one. Don't worry about the menu, just ask Andy to chose for you. But whatever you do, make sure he brings out the crab. 

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