The Hole in the Wall – Tokyo Taste Test #004
The Best Pies in Tokyo? For many British expatriates living in Tokyo, the humble pie is particularly hard to come by in Japan, which is why a find like The Hole in the Wall is a godsend. Mac went to check it and made a video of his experiences.
The Hole In The Wall, situated in Nishi-Ogikubo on the Chuo Line, has everything required of the authentic contemporary British Pub experience: pints, pickled eggs and a comprehensive British menu, plus a welcoming atmosphere and an outside seating section reminiscent of a Westcountry pub.
Owned and run by English/Irishman David Carmichael and his Japanese wife Maki, who has history in the pub trade as the previous owner of the Asagaya Cave. 29 people can sit inside and, unlike many drinking venues in Tokyo, they allow standing. The venue is also dog-friendly.
The Hole in the Wall looks and feels like a proper old-fashioned pub – a great place to pop into for a drink… then things get ramped up by their food menu. The menu is cooked by Maki with all-natural ingredients. Even the Irish soda bread is homemade by Maki. It’s a big menu with a variety of options with great portion sizes.
I tried the Somerset Pork, Apple and Cider Pie, followed by the Pork and Apricot Pie. The smell of the pies consumed by other patrons was getting me excited and I could not wait for them to arrive.
After a 20 minute wait, David brought them over. Both pies looked great held within a firm, perfect casing of short crust. They arrived with mashed potato and veg. They both tasted incredible. Despite both containing pork and fruit, the Somerset Pork, Apple and Cider Pie was a lot more savoury than the Pork and Apricot Pie. The texture, appearance and flavour of the mashed potato couldn’t be faulted. If you like pies this is the place for you. Without a doubt, the best pies in Tokyo.
For more analysis, including an interview with David who also guides us around his pub, watch this:
Some constructive customer feedback: the gravy – I was served both chicken and onion gravy – is a little thin. I’d prefer it thicker in texture and richer in flavour.
The pies were hearty and satisfying enough on their own washed down with a pint of O’Hara’s Irish Craft Stout, but I recommend you come hungry and grab some pickled eggs and some pork scratchings too.
The atmosphere of the place is very friendly and welcoming. David has added some personal touches to the decor, with some photos of his Irish grandparents on the wall. There is also a quaint fireplace to warm you up on those cold nights.
All in all, The Hole in the Wall offers amazing food that is a cut above basic pub grub and is well worth the journey out to Nishi-Ogikubo. David and Maki – keep doing what you’re doing. Tokyo needs you!
The Hole In The Wall | 3-41-11 Nishi-Ogikita, Suginami-ku | www.facebook.com/holeinthewall.nishiogi/