Friday, February 27, 2009

Delirium Cafe Reserve, Akasaka

My friends, do you like beer? 4 out of 5 dentists agree that men like beer, in a strictly clichéd and stereotypic way. But I like beer, and my good friend McNoonan also likes beer, and we were having a little reunion last night involving the usual lunch cast-of-characters plus McN, and we went to this place that we've all been meaning to go for ages, in Biz Tower or Sacas, or whatever you call the newish Akasaka complex (actually it's right next to Jim Thompson's).

Yay, we like Belgian beer a lot. The benefit of Delirium is that they're in good with the manufacturer. Or they ARE the manufacturer. Or something. In addition to being a nasty symptom of alcohol withdrawal, Delirium Tremens is of course the flagship beer from a Belgian brewery (whose name I've just looked up but won't put in here to try to make it look like I'm terribly well-informed about these sorts of things) and was voted best beer in the world in at least 2 semi-reputable venues (seriously). And it's good. And they have several varieties, like Dark and Christmas, plus about 10 other beers, all on tap. Plus a medium-size bottle list with a number of items not overlapping with other outlets around town.

I'm more excited about this because the food was actually good! Belgian beer is a pretty commoditized commodity, and it comes out of the bottle well at any number of places around Tokyo. But the food that goes with it is often heavy and lackluster. At Delirium Reserve, the food is heavy and tasty! We got through several plates of fries, a half-kilo of mussels (enough for 4, I'd say, unless you're really into them. I remember sorta fondly the time I ordered moules frites in Versailles, and was stunned at the size of the pot and the length of time it took me to get through them. Too much for my non-French sensibilities.) and a gratin of endive and bacon to start. After that, we moved into serious eating - several plates of big, juicy sausage, and 4 enormous skewers of meat (deer, boar, pork belly, pork). Split between two men and two women (who ordinarily eat pretty well but were holding back), this was a lot of meat. Good thing I'm vegetarian the rest of the time.

Add to this plenty of service, even if they were always rushed by the size of the place and the crowds, a non-smoking room in the back that doesn't feel like a ghetto, and the interesting location in Akasaka, and you've got a winner.

Oh, and they have beer.

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