Met up with old friends Donald and Jason and a couple of other folks last night at Andy’s fantastic izakaya under the Yamanote Line tracks in Yuraku-cho (有楽町). British ex-footballer Andy has run Shin Hinomoto (新日の基) for as long as I’ve lived here in Tokyo (much longer, actually) and serves up some of the best home style izakaya fare around. The portions are massive and the prices cheap. What could be finer? I hadn’t been in maybe a year or more this time, and it was great to see that the food and raucous atmosphere are still as enjoyable as I remember. We samples some of out standard dishes–sauteed enringi mushrooms, grilled asparagus spears, sashimi moriawase–and also ventured into new ground, enjoying lightly-battered John Dory (マトウダイ) and steamed black cod (ギンダラ). Everything was great, and we washed it all down with chilled mugs of beer and imojochu (芋焼酎). Gotta remember to get over there more often!

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