Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : The Bottom Line
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami is a peculiar place: it has a good selection of bottled beers that you can get to takeaway, and also some delicious chips. However, the in-house beers are not good and are the prices, well, are quite high for what you are getting in return. The food is tasty, but the portions are small, so if this is what a bistro is supposed to be like, then Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami is a miss from us. The whole place is non-smoking and has no table charge, along with some free WiFi, so there are some good points to it, but our advice is either pick up some beers to go, or just go across the road. A shame really as when we by, Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami looked so inviting and relaxing.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : The Full Write Up
While walking towards Beer Cellar Tokyo to start our mini crawl which was supposed to be along the Odakyu line and ended up being around Komae instead, I came past Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami and noticed some brewing equipment in the window. Like a mouse to a piece of cheese (do mice even eat cheese?), I was attracted to and stood there gawping at the shiny stainless steel. But time was of the essence, Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami was added to the list for the return trip.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami opened in April 2021 and is located, as its name suggests, at Kitami station, on the Odakyu line. It’s about a 3 minute walk from the north exit and can be found under the train arches – something that seems so natural to someone having spent a lot of time in the arches around London. The premise behind Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami is that it’s both a bottle shop – more about that later – and a restaurant – again, more about that later.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : Atmosphere & Interior
Would it stereotypical of BeerTengoku to say that Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami was bright and airy? Yes, and it is. In spite of being located under the train tracks, with the implication that the height of the bar would be lower than usual, it was actually a wide open space, with lots of light coming in from all of the windows. The seating area, while not partitioned as expected into cubicles, was raised up and also allowed for views across the bar. Just don’t get shoved to the back by the brewery, as there it’s narrow and rather cramped as people walk by from the bar and kitchen to the main seating area. A minor grip but when you’re 1m83 and broad shouldered, these things matter. If you’re short though, then it will be fine.
There is seating for 46 people inside, dotted around varies tables, counter seating, and window seating, with the whole place being non-smoking. There is no table charge, which was rather surprising considering how up-market Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami appears to be, and there is also some free WiFi too.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : Approach to Covid-19
When you walk into Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami, you’re checked for your temperature and have alcohol spray given to you. Groups are limited to a maximum of 4 people and the staff at the bar were all wearing masks. Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami also recommends that you book before going so they can space out groups, where necessary, using social distancing – a first it seems for us.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : Beer & Tap Information
Depending on which door you walk into Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami, you’re either greeted by the sight of some big open fridges with beer inside, or an open space. The fridges contain beers from both Japan and overseas, and they can be consumed on site, with a corkage fee of 300 yen per bottle / can, or for takeaway. A shame really as the the beers they have in the fridge are probably, if not definitely, better than what is on tap from the in-store brewery.
There are 10 taps of craft beer on at Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami, and I’d suggest avoiding the in-house ones as they are frankly not any good. A sake IPA that tasted musty and old, while the dark wheat beer was nowhere close to be being dark or tasting like a wheat beer. The beers come in two sizes: half US pint (236ml) from 790 yen and US pint (473ml) from 1,000 yen, with prices including tax. There are often guest beers on tap, with their beers being slightly pricier. The beers can also be bought to takeaway, if you have a growler or container, with prices being slightly cheaper than drinking in store. There are no beer flights or happy hour though.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : Food Information
There’s a variety of food on offer at Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami, and most of it looked pretty good – well better than the beer looked to be honest. I plumped for the smelliest thing on the menu, the anchovy and garlic fries, and was left happy. There are also some vegetarian options too. The menus were all in Japanese though, so make sure you can read it. We weren’t offered any English menus either.
Hakko Bistro Sake-Ya Kitami : Details
- Open: Monday to Saturday 11:00 – 22:30 (L.O Food 21:30 Drink 22:00) Sunday 11:00 – 21:00 (L.O Food 20:00 Drink 20:30)
- Closed: N/A
- Happy Hour: N/A
- Phone: 03-5761-7725
- Homepage (in Japanese): https://sake-ya-japan.com/shop/detail.html?id=177
- Social Media: Instagram / Twitter