Irish Bar Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Wine and Haggis!

After meeting at Hachiko we headed to a surprise place for dinner that one of the friends of our friend had recommended. We had been looking forward to perhaps a sushi place or a rare and secret izakaya, and certainly somewhere that no foreigner would ever know about or could ever find in Shibuya.

However, we were surprised to find that we were taken to Abbot’s Choice – an Irish Bar, right in the centre of Shibuya and easily seen by everyone.

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So, definitely not what we were expecting, but apparently THE most popular place for Shibuya residents. Who’d have thought?

Ironically, wherever I have travelled in the world, someone inevitably takes me to their favourite local which turns out to be an Irish bar.  What is it about Irish Bars? I think I’ve been to one in every country I’ve visited!

The second irony was that, of the entire group, I was the only one who had never been to this place. (!!!)

Oh well.

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In any case, the person who had chosen this pub had been looking for a place with a very large drinks selection that we might like. We certainly weren’t disappointed as it looked like an entire bottle shop was on the menu.

I ordered a French wine which tasted a little bit like a watery bordeaux (not very complex), but was otherwise the perfect accompaniment to my food.

Being served in Japanese by Japanese waiters was also an interesting touch to this otherwise Irish style place.

The food was a bit different to what I was expecting too. (Though being an Irish bar, I should have expected it.) Being allergic to dairy I was surprised to find that the menu was mostly cream, butter, milk mashed potato, with cheese in everything. (I wasn’t expecting so much dairy in Japan!) Thankfully, the haggis seemed to be dairy free.

The food ordered by others was also, albeit slightly overpriced, simple bar food with sausages, chips, slices of ham and other dishes being shared around the table.

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Having lived in Edinburgh for a few months and having enjoyed the fried takeaway haggis you could get there, I was looking forward to something similar. However, it arrived looking simply like ground mince on a plate. A haggis is a sheep’s stomach filled with offal. If you can’t see the sheep’s stomach or the offal, it’s not a haggis!

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On a positive note there was a great view of the streets of Shibuya. If you get a window seat or an outside table and like people watching, you could sit and drink and while away a couple of hours soaking in the culture, behaviour and fashion of the locals and the foreigners. It’s also definitely worth visiting if you wish to simply drink through their extensive drinks menu!

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  • Neil A is an author, blogger and tutor, with a variety of books on Amazon. Check out his children's series here: http://www.AlienCharacters.com