In Golden Week, I spent a day in Yokohama checking out the craft beer shops and seeing some old friends. I made a point to visit a restaurant called Babel as a friend recommended it to me and they have craft beer. It is a really nice place but they had a few problems when I visited; but it is still a place I want to try again.
Babel is located just north east of Yokohama Station. It looks confusing on a map but it is pretty easy to get there. Once you are outside the north exit of Yokohama Station, there are maps that help you find the overhead walkways to get to Yokohama Bay Quarter. Once you get there, just look for the signs for Babel and you can easily find the shop.
The shop is a little confusing for the first time as the staff tends to stick around the main entrance. There is a terrace entrance with a sign saying they are open but no one really helped us when we were there. The terrace seating is right on the river next to the bay. For any warm sunny day, this is a perfect place to just relax and enjoy a beer or two as well as some good food. I decided to go inside where I didn’t have to worry too much about any wind and I could enjoy watching the TVs as well. The interior was also really well done and I really enjoyed the look.
The beer was somewhat disappointing for me as I have such high standards these days. After visiting many different craft beer shops, the line-up of beer was not as interesting as I would have liked. It was a very good line-up and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend people to go there, but considering Thrash Zone is just down the street, Babel could never live up to the interesting atmosphere of Thrash Zone. If I was on a date, Babel is definitely a good place to go. They have a good selection of beers from various craft brewers in a good range of styles, so there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, not enough interesting styles to make this beer snob have to go there again.
The food wasn’t bad either. It was a little small overall but the quality was good. I did have a little trouble with the food. When I ordered my food, the waitress who took my order didn’t actually write it down so they didn’t even know we ordered food. After waiting for 30 minutes, we asked about the food and they rushed to get it to us. The restaurant manager personally apologized to us and did get the food to us within 10 minutes. We even got a couple glasses of beer as an apology. While the general service from the regular staff wasn’t very good that day, the manager did a very good job to recover from the mistake. He was very apologetic the entire time and I was very impressed at how he handled the situation.
When I was at Babel, I ordered the Salmon Carpaccio as well as the Chili Fries. They were both good but a little small if you ask me. I was prepared to order more if I had more time but since we lost 30 minutes and we had to be somewhere soon enough, we ended up not eating more food. It was a shame as the food was pretty good and I was interested in trying other dishes. If I do go back to Babel again in the future, you can be sure that I will try more of their dishes.
While my experience was not great, it wasn’t bad either. I would still recommend people to go to Babel, even with the problem I had. My experience felt tainted yet I was still happy with it, so that must say something about that shop in general. If I had all of the food come on time, and I didn’t have to rush a little, I’m sure I would be a lot happier and my thoughts on this restaurant would be a lot higher too. If you are in Yokohama, and need a good place for a date, go to Babel!
- Babel Bayside Kitchen (Tabelog – Japanese Only)
- Babel Bayside Kitchen (Gurunavi- Japanese Only)
- Babel Bayside Kitchen (Craft Beer Tokyo – Japanese Only)
- Babel Bayside Kitchen (Official Facebook Page – Japanese Only)
- Yokohama Bay Quarter (Official Site – Japanese)
- Yokohama Bay Quarter (Official Site – English)