Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Kura Kura Ji-Beer House (NOW CLOSED)


Sorry, another terrible photo! Today another Kanda area entry. There really are a lot of good places to visit round there at the moment. Kura Kura is a place I have been to a few times and it always seems to be pretty busy, so they must be doing something right! The bar is quite small and on the third floor, with seats for about 18 at tables, and 5 at the counter. It is very much in the tradition of Tokyo Ji-Beer places, offering good beer and good food in a nice location. Next time I go, I will definitely have to check out their extensive selection of sauces for their French Fries as some of these sounded amazing.
Perhaps you may have guessed this from my reference to an extensive selection of sauces above, but there is a distinct Belgian influence to this place. They have a pretty good list of Belgian bottles and a lot of Belgian glassware to serve you these bottles in. Prices are what you would expect for imported Belgian beers though. In addition to these bottles, they have 12 taps. On my last visit they were mostly Japanese craft with a Belgian guest (the obligatory Hoegaarden). There were also some German bottles and a couple of Japanese bottles that I didn't recognise. The Japanese taps included a brewery I don't remember seeing anywhere else (Syuzan Kaido) along with some more familiar names. A good variety of breweries and styles though.
Draught beers come in two sizes, glass and large. However, the size of these depends on beer type and alcohol content. For example, the large Swan Lake Imperial Porter was around 300ml, whereas the large Syuzan was more of a pint size. I understand why they vary these sizes, but do feel that there is something to be said for standardising the serving sizes in the way that somewhere like Craft Beer Market does. That way you know exactly what you are getting. Prices for the glass ranged from ¥750-¥850 and for the large, ¥975-¥1275, so just about normal for Tokyo (although maybe nearer the top end). To counter this perhaps, they have a 'happy hour' from 17.00-18.30 on Mondays, Saturdays and public holidays where all large glasses are ¥1000 (make sure you don't order the large beer that normally costs ¥975 or this could be a somewhat unhappy happy hour).
So, a nice looking place with a nice atmosphere and helpful staff. Given that it seems to be pretty busy most of the time, it may well be worth reserving. However, every time we have visited, we have been able to get a seat for a limited time (before a reservation turns up), so if you are just popping in, you could take your chance. The atmosphere here is certainly very different from Devil Craft just round the corner. I think I was the only non-Japanese person both times I have been here, unlike Devil Craft which is always full of us foreigners. The fact that it is always busy is an indication of how much people like this place, especially given that there is now a lot of competition in the area. Kanda pub crawl!

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Syuzan Kaido
Swan Lake
Sankt Gallen
Ise Kadoya
Shiga Kogen

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday, 17.00-23.30
Saturday, 16.00-23.30
Closed Sunday

東京神田ビル3F, 鍛冶町 1-4-6, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0044

Almost the same as for Devil Craft. From Kanda JR station, head out of the South exit. If you arrive on the metro, to get to this point leave the metro station via exit 1 and walk across the concourse to the East JR exit. If you turn right and follow the tracks you will come to the JR station South exit. From the South JR exit turn right and follow the tracks till you get to the main road. Cross here and carry straight on, but instead of following the tracks, take the left hand fork. Take the second turning on the right and Kura Kura is not very far down on the left hand side. 


Todays tap list
Ratebeer listing

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