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The Mainichi Newspaper “Matomeshi” (food roundup) column features a warm and cosy place in the Yotsuya-Sanchome section of Shinjuku in Tokyo. They focus on serving warm sake, okan (お燗), and also coffee.

We haven’t had a pun for a while, have we? It’s pun time. The izakaya-coffee shop is called Kan-Kōhī Fuji-Fuji (燗コーヒー藤々) where kan-kōhī usually means the canned coffee you get from vending machines, but here it uses the kanji from okan – hot coffee.

Owner Fujikiwa is aiming for an ambience somewhere between an izakaya and a kappō, a traditional Japanese-style restaurant. They serve their sake in ochoko, but use ones with a wide lip and have an extensive sake list to choose from. The food is refined in the Japanese style, made from carefully selected ingredients prepared so as to draw out their full flavour. The sake they list are ones that can be enjoyed at a relaxed and considered pace, with over 30 available warm. Yui Fujikiwa serves the sake slightly hot, and lets guests know when it has cooled to the right temperature.

Some examples from their menu: seared kamasu barracuda with salmon roe, with a strained dada-chamame (a type of edamame) sauce, topped with lightly cooked maitake mushrooms (JPY 2,000) served with Tamazakura junmai Yamada Nishiki 70 (JPY 850); tataki of Ozaki beef (JPY 2,600); amadai tilefish and matsutake mushroom broth (JPY 1,050).

Their menu also features Umezu Furei Awa Yamada Nishiki BY2009 (JPY 950 for 180 ml). This is a favourite of the Fujikiwas, who find that when the sake is heated it goes beautifully with every part of the meal, from dashi in soup to fatty meat to vegetables.