May 17, 2013

Nice izakaya chain in Akasaka

Izakaya is a kind of gastropub in Japan where young and old enjoy drinking and eating reasonably. The number of izakaya is more than stars in Japan, and it is difficult even for Japanese which one we should choose for drinking party. Generally, most of izakayas are averagely good, but we can't make big mistake. If we select bad one, we are seen as "incapable" in socializing:) The other day, I chose an Akasaka (赤坂) branch of "Banya (番屋)", an izakaya chain and it was unexpectedly good.  
Entrance of "Banya"
Private room 
Sesame tofu with sea urchin 
Sashimi platter 
Shabu shabu
Fish cake 
Strawberry sorbet 
Banya comprises only private rooms so that we can concentrate on talking within own group. This is a very good point. The interior is modern and the atmosphere is stable because of dark lighting. Sometimes, there are less clean izakayas, but cleanness of Banya was high. Food quality was above than this kind of big chain izakayas. Sesame tofu and sashimi platter were delicate enough. Shabu shabu using pork was also tasty. Acceptance!  

The variety of drinking menu might be average as an izakaya. But within JPY5,000, you can enjoy the set meal (see the above pictures) and all-you-can-drink for 2 hours at night.  Access of Akasaka branch is good. Only 1 minute from Tokyo Metro Akasaka Station. If you face difficulty to choose an izakaya chain, Banya might be one option. My rating is 2.9 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Banya Akasaka (番屋赤坂) 


  1. This is an isakaya that seems to appeal to me. Ans it is quite easy to find (Akasaka). My question: do you suspect that I'll have hard time as a non Japanese speaker. I can't read Japanse neither. Thanks

  2. Banya seems to prepare English menu for overseas guests. So, I suppose you will have nice time rather than hard time:)
    Maybe finding this izakaya exactly might be a bit difficult as the name of izakaya is shown only in Japanese. Use navi service of your smart phone or memorize "番屋" as a symbol.

    If you prefer menu with pictures, I recommend you to go big izakaya chains like "ZAWATAMI (坐和民)." You can find their branches everywhere in Tokyo.

  3. Thanks Megumogu. I like the trick of memorizing the characters. I like Banya, it sounds great. I am trying to stay away from restaurants that are not enoughly authentic to locals.