Saturday, April 16, 2011

Izumiya, Jimbocho (神田和泉屋)

Remember a while ago I went to this tolerable-but-expensive izakaya in a really small alley in the fun part of Jimbocho? Since I was in the area for an afternoon's vacation, I went back to see the store. They've been doing it since 1936, and it kinda shows, but not in a bad way. What I think is funny is how they have relationships with certain brewers, and I bet those haven't changed for...oh, 70 years. That's nice. They're not all big, and they're not all famous, they're just the ones they happen to have.

Here's a selection. It's neat that they have this darkened, semi-refrigerated room where they keep all the sake. Most of it is pasteurized, so in theory they could leave it out, but it shows a nice attention to detail. Harushika, Shikizakura, Jokigen, Kikuhime and Toyo no Aki are kinda their mainstays. There was some Kaiun. They had Koro upstairs when I went, but I didn't see it in the store. There was a neat range of aged sake. There was a limited set of fresh stuff in the fridge. What you can't see in the pictures above is that they have a front room of drinking snacks and other commestibles. They tend a bit toward the small-and-expensive, but I'm sure that's more an indication of quality. That's about all I have to say.

Did I buy anything here? I was taking the week off from sake, so nothing. Honestly, I find the selection strangely un-inspirational. But I did get worked up enough to buy a small, very expensive bottle of mirin (hon-kaku!) since I had run out at home, and also two big bottles of well water from Shikizakura. In the current environment of water shortages, it's funny to be able to buy high-quality water for the same price as plastic bottles. Of course, I didn't much enjoy them clanking around my bike basket all the way home.

Price we pay for cycling, innit.

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