English Reviews (Reviews Total Language : 4 reviews)
“Expanded (finally!); still great beer and food”
Two weeks ago, Ale House Kamiya (its full name) opened up a dining room on the third floor to handle unmet demand. It's a good thing too, because in addition to only being able to seat about 20 (maybe less) in the basement, it's a popular spot for private parties. I had been rushed out (politely, ...and with reasonable flexibility and consideration} last year during one such event, and when I descended to B1F last night with cask Yona Yona in my sights, my lizard brain told me it was about to happen again. Good news- same setup (cask taps, kitchen, with a lot more elbow room for the cooks) on 3F. Somebody at Kamiya cares as much about woodwork as they do about serving beer, as the molding and counter shows the work of craftsmen. Ale House Kamiya is a little off the beaten track, in the crazed shopping area where Whitey Umeda meets Komatsubaracho/Kamiya. The mayhem that takes place, particularly Friday/Saturday nights, may not be for everyone, and with a layout resembling a grid only on the outskirts means even with a cellphone to keep you on the true path, there will be diversions. These can turn into little shops with tasty morsels or interesting trinkets, so don't be put off by that. B1F open on evening 2, and the "kitchen" was as remembered, about the size of the bathroom in a typical Japanese business hotel. For those unfamiliar, that would be about the size of a closet in a 1950s home (the kid's closet, not the MBR). However, there apparently is enough room so they can cut gigantor onions fresh, hand batter them, and serve when they merely stun the taste buds instead of scorching them to uselessness. Chicken fritters (a crazy ¥150 each) cut from a succulent breast (dark meat also available) and also hand battered, come with the same garlic mayo/aioli. Numerous other carefully-prepared treats; check the website. It kills me to give Ale House Kamiya only a 4; it's certainly a 4.5. Part of the reason is that I go for the beer, and it's hard to give a 5 to a bar, even if it does so well in other areas. The website, which in addition to Japanese, supports English, Korean, and both simplified and traditional Chinese
Visited May 2018
I wanted to go to Craft Beer Bar Marciero, and in fact did, but an ounce into my Snow Monkey pour, the keg blew. I did not particularly care for the two other Japanese beers that I tasted, and despite the fact that my daughter used to work at Laurelwood, I could not bring myself to drink a beer so ...far from its home. Gave Charlie Brown's a shot, but their best was Brooklyn (OK, but even further from home), their house draft was Carlsberg (Carlsberg!) and the Y300 cover charge was not worth the free salted peanuts. Had seen a little sign (really little) simply saying "Ale House B1F," so after poking around and finally figuring out the little zig-zag sign implied "around the corner (sometimes the last 50 feet are the hardest, like climbing Fuji-san)," I went down the stairs to discover Ale House Kamiya. Bad news- private party at 1930. Good news- it wasn't 1930 yet, so I could buy a pint or two. Bets news ever- Cask Ale! Cask Ale! I have only been to a couple dozen Craft Ale places in Japan (and only a handful of brewpubs), but I don't think I've ever seen a hand pump. Lovely pint- looked like solid foam when pumped; within a minute or so, it had settled to mostly liquid, with only a half inch head. How did he do it? Ninja barman. No food (private party) but the menu on the website looks tasty and reasonable, and the stuff he was cooking and working on food prep made me look forward to returning for a full session.
Visited June 2016