A friend took my husband and me to one of his favorite restaurants in Tokyo. Andy’s Izakaya, aka Shin Hinomoto, is one of the top rated izakaya in the city. It’s is tucked under the train tracks of the Yurakucho Station on a dark side street near the high-end shopping district of Ginza, away from the bright lights of central Tokyo.
An izakaya is essentially the Japanese equivalent of a pub. It’s a place where you tend to go with a group of friends or coworkers to drink and order small shared plates. They usually offer a range of food, from fried snacks to sashimi to salads. Popular drinks are beer, whiskey and sochu.
We partook in entirely too much beer and too many grapefruit sochu-sours, struggling to hear each other over the other lively patrons and the Yamanote train line rumbling above our heads. We picked apart giant crab legs and dipped the sweet meat in rice wine vinegar, savored the freshest sashimi from Tsukiji Fish Market, and waited impatiently for the gyoza-stuffed chicken wings to cool off so we could nibble the juicy meat off the bones.
The sochu-sours were one of the more memorable parts of the evening for me. The waitress brought out 4 halves of grapefruit, a pair of silver juice reamers, bottles of soda water and glasses filled with ice and a healthy portion of sochu. We squeezed our own grapefruit juice and added it to the glasses to our tastes, topping off the glass with a splash of soda. It was the perfect antidote to the oppressive summer heat.
One year ago: Carrot and cilantro salad. I keep forgetting how delicious carrots are. I need to make this again!
- 1 or 2 shots of sochu
- juice from half of a grapefruit
- soda water
- lots of ice
- Fill a highball with ice. Pour 1 or 2 shots of sochu over the ice. Add the grapefruit juice and top off the glass with a splash of soda water. Stir and enjoy!