The Japanese Pub Cookbook

  • Mark Robinson
  • Photographs by Masashi Kuma

Size: 250×190 mm, 720 g
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 160
ISBN10: 1-56836-432-6
ISBN13: 978-1-56836-432-2
Release date: Aug. 24, 2012

List price: $25.00

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A Gateway to Japan's Friendliest Dining Experience

  • An introduction to eight brilliant Tokyo izakaya establishments: their histories, their cooking, their chefs-and their passion for superb food and drink.
  • A thorough guide to entering the world of izakaya: hints on everything from manners to language.
  • 60 detailed recipes for casual dining and entertaining
  • Comprehensive information on Japanese ingredients, substitutes and cooking techniques
  • A great source of inspiration for hungry gourmets, avid cooks and food industry devotees

This is the first publication in English to delve into every aspect of the izakaya, or Japanese "pub"—a unique and vital cornerstone of Japanese food culture.

Uninhibited and welcoming, the pub serves mouth-watering, nutritious and inexpensive small-plate cooking, along with free-flowing drinks. Like the Spanish tapas bar, it is a mainstay of the nation's native cuisine, a vital venture for socializing and, in these health-conscious times, an increasingly influential culinary force.

Eight different Tokyo pubs are introduced. Some of them have long histories; some are more recent players on the scene. All are deeply familiar to the author, who has chosen them for their quality, ambience, and the variety they represent.

Also included are detailed recipes for 60 quintessential izakaya dishes-delicious standards and specialties ranging from those often found on the traditional Japanese "comfort food" menu to highly innovative creations that reflect the living energy of pub culture.

You will also find a wide range of information-izakaya history, profiles of Japanese ingredients and spices, a guide to the many varieties of sake, cocktails and other alcoholic drinks that are served, "how-to "advice on menu ordering, and much more.

More than a cookbook or a guidebook, this is a beguiling window onto a major food culture, and will be a source of inspiration to every food lover-home chef, hungry gourmet, or professional restaurateur.


"Izakaya celebrates...unlikely foodie haunts and their cuisine, combining shochu-soaked anecdotes and pen portraits of izakaya chefs with recipes for their tasty snacks and appetizers."
"...delightful...Robinson's book is more a paean to the vibrant and complicated izakaya culture than a definitive cooking guide...but the recipes, more than 60 of them, are the sort you wish more neighborhood restaurant chefs in New York would read."
—The New York Times Book Review

Izakaya "profiles several popular restaurants that offer affordable eclectic fare."
—USA Today

"A unique work, recommended for most collections.
—Library Journal (Starred review)

About the Author

MARK ROBINSON is an editor and journalist who has written regularly from Tokyo on food and culture for publications including the Financial Times and the Times(U.K.), the Australian Financial Review Magazine, and others. Born in Tokyo and raised mostly in Sydney, Australia, he returned to Japan in 1988 where, enchanted by izakaya, he has remained.

MASASHI KUMA was nominated for a James Beard Award for his photographic work in Kaiseki: the Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant, also published by Kodansha International. His work has appeared in Voce, GO and numerous other publications.