Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Va Bene Shimokitazawa (& Kichijoji)


[Pretty much as soon as I decided to split all the posts that I had previously grouped by area, I've now decided to group two places together. The reason for this is that I don't think the Va Bene in Kichijoji is worthy of mentioning in its own right, but thought I'd add the info for you in case you're in the area. There is a very brief mention of the Kichijoji branch at the bottom of this post.]

Today a quick post about a relatively new addition to the Shimo Kitazawa beer scene. Well, maybe more to the restaurant scene, but as this blog is about beer, we'll approach it from that angle. Va Bene is an Italian Restaurant with craft beer. In that way it is reminiscent of places like Gar Eden and Barchetta, but there are a few differences. Here is what you need to know.

- Pretty small place. Downstairs has room for a small counter for three and a couple of tables for two. There is more seating upstairs but I didn't see up there. Apparently there is seating for 20 though. Was quite nice to sit at the counter and the staff were keen to chat and were very friendly. No smoking place and has free wifi.
- Predominately an Italian restaurant. I guess the clue is in the name. However, there is no cover charge and it's fine to pop in for just a beer. The food was quite meat heavy, but even a long term vegetarian like myself got a bit peckish watching them prepare the food, so I had some pickles (from the bar snacks section of the menu). At the weekend it's open for beer only from 14:00-17:00 between lunch and dinner, so don't go expecting food at that time.
- Seven taps of craft beer, admittedly veering towards the less exciting end of the spectrum. When I was there they had six taps of Japanese craft and a New Zealand cider I had never come across before. However, they are a Kyoto Brewing permanent tap line place, so they will always have Kyoto on and could get some of their rarer brews. Beers are served in two sizes and they are a bit smaller than in other places, 150ml and 350ml. The smaller size costs from ¥300-400 and the larger one ¥650-850. Tax is added on at the end though, so be prepared for that. All in all though, the prices are pretty reasonable and it's nice that they don't seem to really penalise you financially for choosing the smaller size.

So, that's about it. It's a Shimokita place that is much more reasonably priced than the Ushi Tora bars. They also offer the opportunity to drink during the daytime (at the weekend), which is always a big plus for me. Given the selection, it's probably not somewhere you would stay for a huge session, but it's a great place to pop in to for a quick beer before or after some other Shimokita activities. And it's really close to the north exit of the station too.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Tazawako
Izu No Kuni
Gotemba Kogen
Kyoto
Hansharo
Rokko

Opening Hours:

Monday-Friday, 17:00-23:30
Saturday, Sunday & holidays, 11:30-23:30 (drinks only, 14:00-17:00)

Location/Map:
北沢 2-24-13, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo



Telephone:  
03-5465-2131 
 

Links:
Website

Facebook

Va Bene Kichijoji


A brief mention to say that they have a branch in Kichijoji too, but it's not as beery as the Shimo Kita one. They only have five taps of craft and are missing that crucial Kyoto permanent tap that pushed the Shimo Kita branch over the finish line. There is a counter for seven and seating for around 20. Beer sizes and prices were a little different. They serve beers in 370ml glasses for ¥790 or you can have two 100ml glasses for ¥490 (nice option I think!). Tax is added at the end as with the other branch. They have a nice daytime opening thing at the weekend and on holidays and it's situated pretty much next to Inokashira Park. Don't think this branch has wifi though.

Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Tazawako
KinshachiHansharo
Minami Shinshu

Opening Hours:

Monday-Friday, 17:00-23:30
Saturday, Sunday & holidays, 11:30-23:30

Location/Map:
吉祥寺南町 1-17-9, Musashino, Tokyo



Telephone:
0422-26-7235
 

Links:
Website

Facebook

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