Hayari Sausage Restaurant, Ebisu
It’s been pretty wet and miserable of late and when the weather turns inclement my thoughts turn to food. And not just any food but comfort food. For me that means sausages. Snags, brats, bangers and mash, call them what you will, the humble sausage is a worldwide comfort food phenomenon featuring in the cuisines of most cultures.
In Ebisu there is a restaurant called Hayari that delights in making and serving sausages from around the world. With over 24 on the menu, there is bound to be one to suit you. The owner and chef of this cheerful establishment is passionate about sausages. He has researched and recreated the very best of them from places as far afield as Germany, Australia, Peru, Mexico, China, Spain and Brazil. In all, Hayari’s sausages represent 15 different countries.
The menu includes spicy versions as well as lamb, beef and pork varieties. All meats used are sourced in Japan. Our table tested six different sausages and found them all to be remarkably good. A main dish is accompanied with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and a little salad. Mustards complete the plate. Other sides are available, and in particular the house ginger salad is delicious. The pricing depends on how many sausages are ordered per plate. It is possible to order two or three (more if need be) of different types of sausage so that you can taste test the varieties.
Unthinkable as it may be, there could be some diners who don’t wish to order sausages, and for them there is a chalkboard menu of curries and simple sides. These change depending on the night, goat and duck being just two of the interesting choices available when we dined there.
All of the sausages are handmade by the friendly people at Hayari. Owner/chef Takeshi Murakami calls himself a “sausage craftsman.” His dedication to his craft is obvious, and this restaurant is a friendly, happy place where the staff are knowledgeable and keen to talk about their product. The menu has photographs and Japanese descriptions of each selection, but if you ask for an English menu an iPad with the same selection will be handed over for your perusal.
The wine menu is comprehensive and reasonably priced, as are the craft beers that are available. The non-filtered craft beer we ordered went particularly well with the sausages and sauerkraut.
Incredibly, the menu also includes two “dessert sausages”. These may take some courage to order but rest assured of two things: they are delicious, and mercifully they are not made from meat. The first is made of chocolate and served with cream, the second is a masterpiece of flour and eggs drizzled with caramel and hazelnuts. It was a sublime way to finish dinner.
Address: 2F Grande Ebisu, 3-48-5 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Fri, 6–11 p.m.; Sat and Sun, 2–11 p.m.; occasional irregular closing