Updated： March 09, 2020
[Nishi Shinjuku] Drinking Unlimited Sake after work at 29ON Kakuuchi
29ON kakuuchi is a small members-only sake bar that opens up on weekday evenings in Nishi Shinjuku. I was recently invited to try it out, and this is a description of how it was.
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A members-only all-you-can-drink sake bar
I work in Nishi Shinjuku, quite close to the location of 29ON Kakuuchi, a small standing sake bar that opens on weekday nights in a space that is a coffee shop during the daytime. The bar is members-only, but I was recently invited to try it out for just the standard ¥3,000 price that members pay for unlimited drinks each time.
The Okami with a bottle of nihonshu
29ON (pronounced niku-on) Kakuuchi is run by an Okami named Takagi-san, shown in the picture above. She's a nihonshu expert, and always curates a selection of at least 30 different types of nihonshu that she serves each night. I love nihonshu, but beyond the most famous brands, know fairly little about the sakes from the myriad of small sake breweries around Japan. I was quite impressed by the variety of sakes that the Okami served me one after another.
The system at 29ON Kakuuchi is fairly simple. When you arrive, you pay the ¥3,000 for unlimited drinks for the whole night (it's open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm), and you receive a little ceramic sake cup to use for the whole night. The Okami will start you off with a cup full of the first nihonshu, after which you can go back up to the counter for another cup whenever you please. You can leave the selection of the nihonshu up to the Okami, or tell her if you have any preferences or a specific type that you want to try. I let her make all the decisions and wasn't disappointed once!
Don't forget the food
29ON Kakuuchi's 'Tai Dashi Oden'
In addition to the drinks, food items are available for an extra charge. Most items are quite affordable (around ¥500) and fairly filling. Apparently, the menu is expected to change occasionally, but currently, oden is the featured food item for wintertime.
Enjoying an avocado-filled pork roll
The oden served at 29ON Kakuuchi is a bit classier than your typical oden and features hearty ingredients like chicken wings, tamagoyaki, sausages, and avocado-filled pork rolls. The umami-packed broth is also special and is made from tai dashi (sea bream). The umami and salty flavors are a perfect contrast to the fresh, crispness of the nihonshu.
Another dish that was delicious was the roast beef plate, shown above. 29ON's specialty is actually sous vide-cooked meat and the premium dinner courses at the main 29ON restaurant locations in Ginza, Ikebukuro, Omotesando, and Nishi Shinjuku all feature premium wagyu and other meats. 29ON Kakuuchi's main focus is on the sake, but the meat dishes are also fabulous and worth trying.
For more information
If you're interested in learning more about 29ON Kakuuchi or becoming a member, check out the following link. Note that it's in Japanese, but shouldn't be too hard to figure out even if you don't read Japanese.
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