Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shierii Kurabu... Sherry Club

A little obscure perhaps but when one tires of drinking sake (is that possible?) there is a small sherry bar near the south exit of the Yasaka Jinja (shrine) that serves around 90 different varieties. If you are a local you will be handed a printed sherry "guide map" from which you select your poison. Scratch your name in the space provided and tick off whatever you sample so you have a record for next time  - don't worry  the gorgeous Michiko will file it away for you and whip it out next time you drop in. (and yes - she does speak a little English and is well versed in the language of Jerez having spent some time studying with local providores last year). 

If you are new to the world of Sherry try a sample flight  - a fino or manzanilla to start, next perhaps an oloroso then, if you are up to the cheese or dessert stage of the evening, go straight to the other end of the spectrum - a rich, sticky Pedro Ximenez. The tapas is decent - some of it pretty good, stick to the simple plates such as Jamon (sliced from the leg to order), Spanish cheese, croquettes, gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) and you won't be disappointed - last visit we enjoyed pork belly with lentils and it rocked, the lentils soaked in savoury, reduced, porky juices. I haven't tried the paella but it looks and smells fantastic. 
They also do a pretty good Sangria and serve beer. 

 Even though I have perched myself up at the bar on more than a handful of occasions I have, more than once and in the dark,  walked right by the tiny lane way that leads to the bar so pay careful attention.  Find the south exit of Yasaka jinja and continue to walk south about 3 minutes - all the time looking on your left (east) for...  well basically a doorway that is not a doorway but the start of a tiny cobbled lane which is enclosed for the first few meters - enter and within a few seconds you will be out the other side and the Sherry Club is a white building on your right. (www.sherry-club.com  - there's a big sister store in Tokyo's Ginza district also). 

There are several traditional Japanese restaurants along the same lane further east and a lovely place for a wander even if you don't eat.  Back out the way you came  - and towards Higashioji dori just a few minutes is a great little restaurant called Kappo Bar Doi (kappobardoi.com) worth seeking out -I will post about that later but it is run by a friendly young husband/wife team serving up interesting experimental Japanese/euro dishes and some excellent Japanese wine.  Also not far away is one of my favourite French/Japanese restaurants - Kezako - which I will also get around to posting about one day. 

Thanks again to my friends Myong Hee, Kikuko and Mayumi for seeing me off with a few quiet sherries just before I returned to OZ - I miss you but will be back soon. Meet you at Sherry Club! xx

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