Last Saturday night some of the Smith’s owners from Kanto and Kanagawa got together in Shubuya, a famous and very lively place in Tokyo for a small farewell party for Dean – the former Smith’s Kichijoji owner. I know Dean fairly well as my school in Asagaya is only a few stops away and over the years we have got together to throw parties for our schools and have caught up socially over a beer or two during our time in Japan.
On the night we all met at around 8pm at an inconspicuous Izakaya called Gomaya off one of the main streets. I walked down the narrow stairs into the basement restaurant not knowing what to expect and then as I reached the entrance, the place seemed to open up somewhat to reveal a lively restaurant atmosphere, friendly staff and delicious looking food being served at numerous tables, I was pleasantly surprised.
Izakaya food is generally hit and miss however this party had been organised by Ken from Koenji School, so presumably the food would have to be good as it was one of his local haunts. The beer was cold and kept coming which is always a great sign and the food was better than your average Izakaya spread, in fact it was real good. We were there to catch up with Dean who was leaving Japan to further his studies. It was a great night all round and even though I’m sorry to see Dean go I wish him the best of luck on his new adventures and look forward to catching up with him again down the road. Thanks to everyone who came out and to Ken for organising a great night. Welcome to John the new owner of Smith’s Kichijoji and Good luck Dean – All the Best!!
I always enjoy going to Gomaya in Shibuya, as you said; the food is first-class, the service is great and the atmosphere is dynamic.
Gomaya is a member of the Jackpot Group (see http://www.jack-pot.co.jp) which has more than 15 outlets. I have been to five of them but like Gomaya in Shibuya the best although Jackpot in Shinjuku is excellent however as it is small and usually very busy it is extremely difficult to go to without a reservation, which doesn’t suit an impulsive guy like myself.
Ken Smith’s School of English – Koenji