After Hours: Enjoy a cold one by the water at T.Y. Harbor
July 17, 2008
TOKYO — In a city teeming with rivers and canals, it can be surprisingly hard to find a place in central Tokyo to sip a drink or enjoy a meal at the water’s edge.
Yes, you can go to Odaiba or Yokohama. But that seems awfully limiting, especially considering four rivers and a series of canals run in and around Japan’s capital city.
One key exception is T.Y. Harbor Brewery, a restaurant near Shinagawa Station in south central Tokyo. There, you can order home brews, chew on real Buffalo wings and, if you’re ever in need, park your boat along the restaurant’s dock.
We went on a recent Sunday, when the brewery was celebrating summer and I suppose the Fourth of July, given the amount of hamburgers and red, white and blue balloons around.
The day’s price was reasonable — 3,500 yen (about $33) for women, 4,500 yen (about $42) for men, including all you could eat and three beers — especially considering the restaurant’s regular prices range from about 1,000 yen ($9) to 1,700 yen ($16) for appetizers and 2,400 yen ($22) to 3,800 yen ($35) for entrees.
We were not disappointed. We got there just as the party began and just in time to snap up a table on the Waterline, the brewery’s floating sister restaurant that offers jazz once a week and usually is reserved for private parties. The beers on tap included a honey ale, pale ale and porter, each one crisp and clean and perfect for a hot summer day.
The best, however, was up on the deck at the grill. I’ve been to the brewery a couple of times in the winter, sampling T.Y.’s great beer and black bean chili, tangy Caesar salad and pork ribs that slide cleanly off the bone and into my belly. The brewery’s summer barbecue offered those three ingredients and more, including American-sized hamburgers, grilled sausages, spicy grilled shrimp, roasted corn and an assortment of salads.
We ate and drank for four hours. OK, five. Well, maybe six. After all, we had a seat on a boat, in the summer sun in Tokyo, on a gorgeous lazy Sunday. We went nowhere fast. I highly recommend the trip.
T.Y. Harbor Brewery
Hours: Lunch, 11:30 to 2 p.m. (3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) Dinner, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (9 p.m. Sundays and holidays). Bar, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays)
Specialties: Grilled and barbecue foods, including fish, ribs and steak. Also pizza and homemade brews.
Prices: Beers around $7. Appetizers range from about $9 to $16; dinners from about $22 to $35. Set courses also available.
English menu: Yes
Dress: Business and casual
Clientele: Japanese and expats
Location: Near Shinagawa station, five minutes by taxi or 15 minutes by walking. Phone number: 03-5479-4555