We go on a mission to eat and drink at Nerv headquarters.

Evangelion is one of Japan’s most iconic and influential anime of all time, so when an Evangelion bar opened in Tokyo for a limited time last year, fans scrambled to its location like a pilot to an EVA unit.

Since its January 6 closure, though, fans have had to go back to drinking at ordinary izakaya taverns, comforted only by the news that voice acting has started on the new Evangelion anime movie, scheduled to be released in 2020.

The upcoming film might actually be a two-fold blessing, as the momentum building up towards it means the Evangelion bar has returned again for another set period, this time with a special “Angel Hour” service that gets you discounted drinks, and a new menu of themed items honouring the film and its characters.

Eager to experience it all for ourselves, we headed out to the limited-time bar, called Evangelion Sakaba, which is located at 46 Shokudo, a revolving themed restaurant in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro neighbourhood.

While the outside didn’t look particularly Nerv-like, after stepping out from the doors of the elevator on the fourth floor, we knew we’d come to the right place. Greeting us at the entrance was this poster, with Gendo Ikari, the commander of Nerv, telling us “At the Evangelion Sakaba, you drink.”

We hadn’t expected to encounter such a blatant display of alcohol harassment from the Nerv commander so immediately, but seeing as this was a sakaba (literally “alcohol place”), drinking was one of the things we had come here to do.

So we pulled up a chair and ordered a “Misato Beer“, with a side of “Edamame we wanted to make at Ryoji Kaji’s plantation“. When our order arrived, it looked no different to any other beer or edamame we’ve had before, but the aptly named menu items reminded us of the complex relationship between Misato and Ryoji, sparking our imaginations and adding a fun element to every sip and bite.

Sakaba are local taverns with a homely atmosphere and a menu of small dishes to accompany a variety of alcoholic drinks on offer, and the Evangelion Sakaba didn’t disappoint on this front. There was an impressive selection of exciting options to choose from, including the Sachiel Chicken Wings, which made us feel like we were chomping on the wings of the bird-like humanoid Angel.

Remembering the commander’s orders to drink, we polished off our beer and decided to try the Mark.06 Wine, which comes in the same hues as its mecha namesake. It tasted like a good white wine, with a light body and refreshing aftertaste, in stark contrast to the actual Eva Mark.06.

Then we went into beast mode, ordering the Nerv Headquarters Fried Rice, which gave us the energy we needed to set out on our mission back home.

Before we got up to leave, though, the plate of tempura at the table next to us called to our taste buds, so we called the waiter over and requested it for ourselves. When it arrived, we realised we didn’t know the actual name of the dish, so after enquiring, the waiter informed us, in a low voice, “This is the Adult Kiss”.

With our bellies filled with the taste of Eva, and all at a reasonably priced total of 3,043 yen (US$27.73), we gathered our belongings and headed out from the Evangelion Sakaba and out into the world outside.

While there were plenty more Eva-themed drinks and dishes on the menu to choose from, there’s only so much a pilot can handle on their first mission, so we vowed to return for another dose of mecha goodness in future before the bar closes on 1 September.

Restaurant information
Evangelion Bar / エヴァンゲリオン酒場
Venue: 46 Shokudo / 46食堂
Address: Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku, Higashi Ikebukuro 1-29-4, Narita Building 4th floor
東京都豊島区東池袋1-29-4成田ビル 4F
Open 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
20 April-1 September

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