Wan

Kuimonoya “Wan”: apparently the word “wan” means “bowl”.

It’s an izakaya (Japanese-style bar & grill) on the main road amidst the neon-lit nightclub strip of roppongi.

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It’s actually on the 6th floor so to access it we need to duck down a side-street opposite what looks like a strip-joint and catch an elevator.

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We remove our shoes and place them in separate boxes that utilise what appears to be a traditional system of locks: a wooden block acts as a key with two Japanese characters written on it to help us remember which one is ours.

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We’re then escorted to and seated in a private room that’s a cube measuring about 1.5m x 2m wide x 2.5m tall. Intimate.

The walls are thin and our sliding door is not solid so we can hear the raucous laughter and very loud conversations from many of the other rooms.

Through the floor we can feel the bass pumping like a rave party is going on downstairs. This place is a riot!

We choose a range of dishes: chicken and pork skewers, spicy chicken pieces, an assortment of sashimi, and a chicken patty filled with cheese and supplied with a raw egg to be used for dipping.

My draft Kirin bīru (beer) comes served in a tall pottery mug. Cold and refreshing.

We also order an orenji-jūsu (orange juice) and some ice-cold mizu (water).

A salad with greens, capsicums, onions, crunchy noodles and dressing comes complementary.

The sashimi is plated unusually but by all accounts tastes amazing. As far as I’m concerned it’s all wonderful.

It’s hard to resist ordering more but in the back of my mind I know I feel full. I would just be eating because it looks and tastes so good.

14/20 food (taste) : tasty

13/20 food (selection) : pretty good menu although our taste buds don’t necessarily extend the whole gamut

13/20 staff : friendly and helpful with fairly good English

14/20 atmosphere : comfortable with cushions to sit on but it’s not plush; smoking is permitted but we resist the urge (jj) – actually we’re lucky we can’t smell anyone smoking because of the separate room set-up; the general hub-bub is noisy but not unpleasant

12/20 price : ¥1700pp is reasonable but not outstanding

66/100 total : all-round it’s brilliant

Well worth a future visit.

Kim*

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