“Don’t drink water, drink tequila!” is the sign that greets visitors to Shizuku. But this isn’t merely a bar for slamming back a few shots. Shizuku offers over 100 varieties of select tequila, and gourmet charcoal-grilled burgers. Why tequila and burgers? Alba and Brian made it their mission to find out.
Conveniently located in Daimyo, the front side of Shizuku is open to the street, tempting diners with lively Latin music and the aroma of smoky BBQ. As befits a tequila bar, there are plenty of Mexican touches, from ponchos to sombreros to Mexican puppets. This playfulness carries over into the happy hour, which runs from 5:55 (pronounced “Go! Go! Go!”) till 7:19 (i.e., 19:19, pronounced “I-ku! I-ku!”, which also means “Go! Go!”). Essentially, they want you to get excited about happy hour. And why wouldn’t you? Beer, tequila and their Seven Spice Chicken are all half price! The crispy chicken wings are covered in a deliciously garlicky, spicy and crumbly coating, making them a perfect match for the frosty beer and sharp tequila. It’s a great deal: a mug of draft beer and a plate of Seven Spice Chicken is as cheap as ¥675!
Meet the “burger master”, Sakata-san, and the “tequila master”, Akimura-san. Both are super-friendly and speak enough English. An English menu is in the works and will be ready very soon.
The charcoal-grilled burgers come with your choice of either fries, salad or onion rings, as well as two original barbecue sauces (mustard-based and ketchup-based; Alba loved the semi-sweet mustard – she said she wanted to “bathe in it”). The bun maketh the burger, and these custom-ordered buns are toasted to perfection. They add a complementary crunch to the thick and tender patties, even till the last bite. The patties are 100% Japanese ground chuck patties.
Brian went for the BBQ Texas Burger. The patty is topped with 10-hour slow-cooked pulled pork, molten cheese and chunky onion rings (made with their original corn grits batter). Shizuku’s own recipe coleslaw adds a bit of punch to this already heavyweight burger. But be prepared to get messy! This burger is a big’un – Brian had to take out one of the onion rings just to be able to fit his choppers around it!
Alba opted for the Tex Mex burger. The juicy patty is topped with tangy yet mild chili con carne, creamy guacamole, a helping of crunchy coleslaw and a sprig of coriander. Truly value for money! If you want to add a little extra punch, add some of the mustard-based barbecue sauce.
Burgers may be the stars of the food menu, but there are plenty of other tasty items on offer, from main dishes to finger food. The chicken and cheese quesadillas with spicy jalapeno dip were a hit: crisp corn tortillas with tender chicken and hot, oozing cheese. Bacon and avocado and chorizo and cheese quesadillas are also on the menu.
The shrimp cocktail uses the cook’s own original sauce, and comes with chunky rock salt, lime and tortilla chips – so you can accessorize your shrimp!
The baby back ribs are smoky, succulent perfection: the American pork ribs are slow-cooked in the oven before a final charcoal grilling.
But what’s with the nearly 100 varieties of tequila? One of Shizuku’s owners, Sugiyama (of El Borracho fame), has his own brand of Tequila, which he imports and sells wholesale around Japan. Part of Shizuku’s mission is to introduce Japanese to tequila culture (beyond party shots!). From the house Shizuku brand to a tequila produced by George Clooney, there’s something for everyone. Prices range from ¥500 to ¥3,000 per shot. The menu includes descriptions of most of the tequilas on offer, but with so many on the menu, we suggest consulting the “tequila master”.
Shizuku has only been open since mid-June this year, but we predict it will soon become a hit, especially with foreigners who appreciate a solid charcoal grilled burger. It’s an ideal place to catch up with friends, whether you’re going to town on a topping-packed burger, nursing a tequila on the rocks, or chatting over cocktails and nibbles. See you there, amigos!
Shizuku Burger Grill
Address: 1−11−4-1F Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Open: Mon. ~ Fri. 17:55~3:00, Sat., Sun. & Hol. 12:00~3:00 (Happy hour: Mon. ~ Fri. 17:55~19:19, Sat., Sun. & Hol.: 17:00~19:19)
BBQ Texas Burger ¥1,180, Tex Mex Burger ¥1,140, Avocado & Salsa Burger ¥1,180, chicken and cheese quesadilla ¥580, shrimp cocktail ¥780, BBQ Texas Baby Back Ribs ¥350 (per rib), Seven Spice Chicken 600, frozen margarita ¥880, tequila cocktail ¥680, sangria ¥650, wine (bottle) ¥2,800~, soft drink ¥400