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[Industry Nights]: Kohei Yamamoto

Where does a Japanese bar man go to thwart homesickness or an impending hangover? el Coctel's Kohei Yamamoto has a few suggestions...
Last updated: 2015-11-09

Industry Nights is a semi-regular column featuring the haunts of chefs, restaurant owners, F&B managers, and other marginally sane people with good eating recommendations.

Kohei Yamamoto is the new guy in charge at craft cocktail lounge el Coctel. He shared with us a few his favorite haunts for thwarting homesickness and hangovers...

En Yakiniku


"I go here almost every week. Compared to other yakiniku joints around town, this place is clean and quiet. I also like the beer prices, 20rmb for drafts, that's a great deal. All the meat on offer is high quality. I especially love the ox tongue here. Cook it up at your table to medium rare, add a little salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and it's perfect!"

Kota’s Kitchen


"You've probably heard of Kota' s. It's that Beatles-themed Yakitori place by Xujiahui Stadium. If you haven't been yet, go! The atmosphere is so unique, with all of the Beatles paraphernalia on the walls, and, of course, the music is great. Portions are generous, prices are reasonable, and the food is fantastic. Before you even order anything they bring out this complimentary plate of vegetables with miso paste, which is downright addictive. They've got all the tasty parts of the chicken such as seseri (the neck), bonjiri (the tail), toriwasa (the breast). I also love their seared mackerel -- such an interesting presentation!"



"Ritsu is open until 5am, so this ramen shop is where I go to thwart an impending hangover. It's good, simple, soothing food and, with noodle bowls starting at around 35 kuai, prices aren't too bad either. The perfect way to end a day/late night/early morning."

Fulton Place


"I really appreciate the quality of the food here. Fulton does wonderful oysters, charcuterie, salads, and so much more. I'm particularly partial to the veal chop and the lamb. It's also a great place to stop off for a drink. Cocktails are mixed with fresh-squeezed juice and poured over proper ice. Very good! Also they're open on Monday which is basically my weekend. Thanks for that, Nat [Alexander, owner]!"



"You might get lost when your cabbie drops you off. There is hardly any signage to this place, just a clay wall and a lone Kanji character. There aren't even any lights. Push the door open, then climb the stairs to big wooden slab of a bar. Shanty pours some terrific shochus and plum wines and they great cocktails too. What's more, the bartender can speak English, Japanese, and Chinese. So no worries about any language barriers."

Sushi Haru


"I think Sushi Haru does some of the best sea urchin in town. It's just so fresh and all it needs is just a sprinkling of sea salt. They also do great tuna here. My only warning is that Haru isn't cheap. Plan on spending over 500rmb just to eat. If you drink, make it closer to 7 or 800rmb. If you want to save some money, though, you can order some of their outstanding maki, like umejiso (preserved plum with shiso leaves) or osinko (Japanese pickles). These cost around 10rmb a pop."