Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Cat & Cask Tavern

Firstly, apologies again for the terrible photo. Once again, I did it in a bit of a hurry on the way out. Today, another English themed pub, although once again, like Campion, the theme is only part of the whole, rather than being the reason for the place's existence. It's a bit out of the way, deep in a residential area in Kanamecho, but in reality, it's still only one stop from Ikebukuro and is certainly worth the trip to get there.
The interior, once again like Campion, gave me a longing for British pubs (the good ones I mean). The interiors of many Craft beer bars in both Japan and also in the UK are a bit slick sometimes. This is a real pub, in that it feels comfy and welcoming. Have a look at the pictures on their website and you could easily believe it is in England. There's a small bar area with seats for four where it seems the regulars congregate. In addition to this, there is seating for around 10 at a selection of tables. But it's not as tiny as I am making it sound. Sure, the room isn't very big, but there's plenty of space for it not to feel cramped. The place is run by an Englishman and his Japanese wife, so if you can't speak Japanese, you'll have no problem communicating here.
On to the beers. They have four taps and two handpumps, although when I visited they only had three of the kegs on. This makes sense though, as it is a small place and it's better to keep the beer turning over rather than having stuff stay on tap for a long time. All the taps were Japanese craft beer and well chosen ones at that, with none of the usual filler that you get in places with more taps. Beers are served in four sizes, UK half, glass (300ml), US pint and UK pint, so you can drink exactly as much as you want. The prices are the same for all beers and are ¥600, ¥650, ¥950 and ¥1100 respectively. Their taplist is posted on their facebook page and their blog, so you can have a look. In addition to the beer, they have a small food menu with some great stuff on it (quite a few snacks and also some bigger stuff including a pie, and a pizza). I definitely want the cheddar and pickle next time I am back there.
I have to say I really liked this place. It has the two most important qualities a pub should have, nice beer and a good atmosphere. It might not have the most taps, but I have been thinking recently that I really should stop jumping around drinking different beers in the smallest measures available in order to try as many different beers as possible and sometimes just concentrate on repeatedly enjoying a beer I like. This is exactly the kind of place I would kill for near my house. I will definitely be going back here. I would highly recommend you go too!

Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Ise Kadoya
Shiga Kogen

Opening Hours:
Monday, 18.00 - 23:30
Wednesday - Saturday, 18.00 - 23:30
Sunday and public holidays, 18:00 - 23:00
Closed Tuesday, and the first and third Sundays of the month

要町 1-32-10, Toshima, Tokyo, 155-0031

The Cat & Cask is in a residential area, so best follow the map below, but here goes anyway. From Kanamecho station leave via exit 1 and cross the side street that merges into the main road. Immediately cross the next side street, carry on and take the 4th right turn. Continue down this road and take the 5th right. The Cat & Cask is on the right hand side shortly after you turn the corner. Counting side streets is tough though as some of them are very small and easy to miss. Please check the map!


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1 comment:

Steve said...

I enjoyed my visits here. Wayne, our proprietor, was the person who put me on to the Rikaichan Firefox browser add-on, which helps immensely with Japanese-language World-Wide Web pages.
But conversely, I did sporadically get the vibe that Wayne doesn't really want international guests; that he wants this to be a pub for area locals. But that wasn't strong enough that I won't try to visit here the next time.
For the directions: I scribed to be alert for the car dealership (It was Mercedes-Benz.); to turn right when you reached that signalled intersection. If you got to a corner with a petrol station, you have gone one block too far.