If you’re in Tokyo and looking for a place to eat, then there is plenty of choice in and around the city. Trying to get decent BBQ food though is still difficult as it was when I first came to Japan in 2004. There are hamburger places galore, with new ones popping up every week yet tasty, finger-licking BBQ food still seems resigned to yakiniku places and the sweet, thin cuts of meat. Great BBQ food is slow-cooked and takes time, and nowhere is that better shown than at Hatos Bar in Naka-Meguro, located five minutes walk from Nakameguro station.
To make sure that this food was “authentic”, I’m yet to see a BBQ pit like the ones in the US, I dragged along a friend from Texas who seemed to be more eager than me in trying Hatos Bar out. With the summer rolling in, but the typhoon season coming along too for the ride, we turned up before 6pm only to be told that the place was fully booked for the night. Hatos isn’t the smallest bar we’ve been to, but there was only space for about twenty people inside. Luckily, I had booked some seats from 6pm; however, they were the outside ones and the sky looked grey and angry. We were hoping for more of the southern US climes rather than the damp UK BBQs of old.
The beers at Hatos Bar are a mixture of domestic Japanese craft beer, predominantly from Tamamura Honten and their Shiga Kogen range and imported US craft beers too. When I arrived, only the Shiga Kogen Miyama Blonde was on tap but by the end of the two hours, the Shiga Kogen House IPA was on tap too. The beers come in two sizes, medium at 240ml and US pint size at 473ml with a variety of prices too with the domestic beers being much cheaper than their US counterparts. Prices didn’t include tax so be careful with your spending.
The BBQ pit I had expected thanks to Google though was more of a smoking unit but don’t let that detract away from the experience at Hatos Bar. With smoke pouring out of the well-ventilated area, the smokey BBQ aromas permeated through the bar, making your mouth water with the expectation of food to come. The staff recommended we ordered all of the food in one go as it would take time for the large items, such as the ribs, to cook. With my friend in charge, out came cornbread, pork belly, and ribs with each being tastier than the last. The menu isn’t large, with about twelve items on the menu including some tasty sides such as coleslaw and BBQ beans, so if you’re vegetarian, make sure you eat before you come here.
Hatos Bar One Paragraph Review
When there is Shiga Kogen Beer on tap and with delicious BBQ food, there are few rivals to Hatos Bar in Tokyo for a great night out at a relaxing bar. The prices aren’t cheap and it is easy to spend a lot though it should be tried. Grab a few friends along, make a booking, and relax.
Hatos Bar Details
Open: Monday to Saturday 18:00 to 01:00
Closed: Sundays and national holidays
Homepage (in Japanese and English): http://hatosbar.com
How to Get to Hatos Bar
The closest station to Hatos Bar is Naka-Meguro station on the Tokyo Hibiya Line and the Tokyu Toyoko Line. Take the south exit and Hatos Bar is about a five-minute walk away.