Kamiya Bar’s Denki Blanc: A Century of Secret Concoction

“It smelled like herbs and flowers, definitely not what I expected of it. It tastes like a sweet brandy and it’s quite strong for me, I couldn’t help but drink some more.”

A stone’s throw away from Asakusa’s Sensoji temple, you will find a bar that has been around for more than a century and has earned a legendary status in all of the bars in Japan. It’s name? Kamiya Bar, built in 1880, this bar has been recognized as the oldest western-style bar in the country. Looking from the outside, you may pass by it and not give a second glance. There are no big signages or banners informing people of its status.

Even it’s interiors inside are quite simple, with strong, warm, yellow lights and wooden dining chairs and tables. So aside from it’s age, what made this bar a classic legend? What secret concoction awaits this who enter its doors? Join me as we take a trip back in time and discover what makes Kamiya bar tick and why it’s highly recognized by the Japanese people. 

Address & other details

Address in English:1-chōme-1-1 Asakusa, Taito City, Tōkyō-to 111-003

Address in Japanese: 111-0032 東京都台東区浅草1-1-1

Schedule: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM, last entry time is t 9:30 PM

MAP

KAMIYA BAR’S DENKI BLANC

Created in 1882, Denki Blanc or also called “Electric Brandy” is Kamiya Bar’s signature cocktail that shot it to stardom during the Meiji Era, with it being featured in numerous books and films. It’s founder Denbee Kamiya created it using a secret concoction of gin, wine, curaçao and herbs that remains hidden to this day. 

Denki Bran had a very distinct taste, although it’s a type of brandy, it smelled like herbs and flowers, definitely not what I expected of it. It tastes like a sweet brandy but burns a little when running down your throat. It’s quite strong for me but I couldn’t help but drink some more. Although it is the bar’s prized cocktail, it’s price is definitely budget-friendly with one shot only worth 270 yen for Denki Blanc and 370 yen for the older Denki Blanc version.

KAMIYA BAR’S MENU

Outside the bar, you will see a sample of their food line up which is one of the things that really attracted me. They have a huge variety of menu from appetizers to desserts which were quite easy on the wallet. 

Their bar is divided into 3 floors which is based on how many of you will dine at that time. If you are a family made up of 3 or more people you will be placed on their third floor where there are longer tables and bigger space to cater to diners of huge numbers. If you came for some fine-dining you will be placed on their second floor and if you came to enjoy the famed old western-style bar, you may find a seat on their first floor. They have a rule of sitting first before ordering, so be sure to find a seat first for yourself or your group before ordering. This is done so that they can make sure that all diners have a seat and they may inform new customers if there are or there aren’t any seat available at the moment. 

THOUGHTS?

We ate in their first floor which is their old western-style bar and I felt like entering a world of sepia and old Japan. The place looked very simple with just wooden chairs and tables and bright yellow lights. Their waiters dressed very nicely though and was ready to serve you anytime. There was pretty much no waiting time since the waiters were quick to spot those who needs anything while dining inside. 

All of the food we tried were really delicious, which was a big deal for a picky-eater like me. For appetizer we ordered their Motsuni or stewed beef innards, for salad we had Caesar salad, then I ordered Kushi-Katsu for myself,while my husband ordered Hirokichi steak. Although we ordered our mains separately we ended up sharing because the servings were quite big for a single person. 

Motsuni or stewed beef innards

Caesar salad

Kushi Katsu or deep fried skewered meat/vegetable

Gyuniku Saikoro Yaki or bite-sized steak

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TRIVIA

  • The word Brandy came from the Dutch word “brandewijn”, which means ‘burned wine’
  • A bottle of Brandy has 35% – 60% alcohol
  • Hennessy and Emperador are two of the most famous brandy in the world. 
  • Visit their website for reservations, menu and more: http://www.kamiya-bar.com/bar.html

 

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