Looking for tasty original izakaya foods (e.g. ink squid fried chicken!), great drinks and smooth chill music? Then aux, located near Yoyogi Hachiman station and Yoyogi Koen station, is definitely worth checking out. The place is vegetarian-friendly and has some gluten-free menu items too.
Aux is a new-style izakaya (Japanese dining bar/tavern) in the Uehara district of Shibuya (near Yoyogi Hachiman station and Yoyogi Koen station). The owner Daiki, who describes himself as a counterculturalist of Japanese society, wanted to create a space where all kinds of people, things and ideas gather. The place tends to attract a diverse crowd of eccentrics, and mostly young people.
If you're a foreigner and don't speak Japanese, there's no need to worry because the friendly staff will go out of their way to make you feel welcome. They have an English menu, and the owner, who's lived in Canada for a while, has a great command of English as well.
You'll absolutely love the laid back vibe of aux! One of the reasons people gather here is to enjoy a good music selection of smooth jazzy hip hop. That, coupled with the stylish industrial interior design, makes it such a perfect venue to spend a fun evening in good company. And we haven't even talked about the food yet.
Aux is particular about using quality domestic vegetables in their cuisine, and you'll even find a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes on their menu, which is very rare in Japan. Walk by during the day and you'll see that the place sells fresh farm vegetables. How awesome is that!?
Some popular menu items
Sourdough Bread Smoked Salmon Sandwich (¥980)
This smoked salmon sandwich is made with the house's signature sourdough bread. Thanks to the sourdough's natural yeast, this bread has some punch! The combination with the smoked salmon (which you get a generous amount of in one sandwich) is spot on!
Pineapple and Pork Gyozas (¥680)
This is a pineapple and pork deep fried gyoza (dumpling). Gyozas are a classic izakaya food but the fillings for this one makes it really unique and so interesting! Fusion cuisine at aux is a theme for most of what they serve. As you can see, the presentation is really original too.
Deep Fried Black Chicken (¥780)
I bet you've never seen karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) like this one! The black comes from squid ink and it gives a little deeper umami to the chicken. The owner got the inspiration for this one from a calamari in squid ink dish he had in Canada. Try this item! It's one of the most popular foods on the menu.
Homemade Pasta from ¥900
The pasta here is simply delicious. The noodles are made from scratch in-house.
Have it with gluten-free noodles for an extra ¥150. The restaurant is also vegetarian-friendly so you can have this made with soy meat too.
All kinds of drinks from ¥580
Aux has an amazing selection of drinks too. Give a try to their aux ball - a super original mix of Chinese alcohol (shaoxinjiu), anise, black pepper, clove, apple, and ginger ale.
They also serve beer, Japanese shochu (potato or barley based), tea highballs, organic wines, and many other great cocktails.
Musicians and music lovers are welcome!
You've had a few drinks and some good food, so maybe it's time for some live music? Aux is known for playing good music, and they even sometimes host live performances at no extra charge. Another reason to go there!
For a fun evening with friends, aux must be one of the best spots in central Tokyo. Whether you're looking for some delicious, reasonably priced foods and drinks or just a chill dining bar atmosphere, give it a try if you have the chance.