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Staff hard at work, pulling pints, chatting to customers, and taking orders.

Japan is not well-known for being “good” at pizza. If you have visited, or lived in Japan, you know that the ubiquitous pizza chains of Pizza Hut, Dominoes, and Pizza-La tend to dominate the market in the areas that they do business in with their unique, and sometimes plain weird, pizza toppings. The restaurant chains, such as La Pausa, Shakey’s and others, seem to serve never-ending thin crusts, at ridiculously cheap prices, that mean quantity is delivered, but quality is sorely lacking.

 

About two years ago, Devil Craft – Craft Beer and Pizza, ok from now on just, Devil Craft, opened up their flagship store in Kanda, and has proven to be a big hit. Their motto is “come for the beer, stay for the pizza”, and never has a motto been truer. With a daily list of about 20 craft beers, from both the USA and Japan, they have certainly managed to attract the beer crowd. The beer list changes daily, so one day they might have a great IPA, India Pale Ale, in stock, to be replaced by a stout the very next. Keeps you on your toes. With prices varying from 700 yen for a half pint, up to 1200 for a pint, the prices aren’t cheap, but the quality is great.

 

 

 

Who likes beer? You've come to the right place.

Who likes beer? You’ve come to the right place.

After managing to get some seats in early, which is highly recommended as this place does get extremely busy, even on weekdays, it’s known to be filled up by 7 pm. Once a couple of beers had been ordered, we managed to find ourselves at a loss for food. Devil Craft specializes in Chicago style pizza. For those who don’t know what that is, here is a very quick history lesson on Chicago style pizza:

What is Chicago-style pizza? First pioneered at Uno’s Pizzeria, Chicago-style pizza was created in the 1940’s. Over time it has branched out first into the greater city through expansion and local rivals like Gino’s and Malnati’s, and later throughout the United States as it became an American original.

 

 

 

 

 

OK, history lesson over, decision decisions. Devil Craft also has a good range of sides, and one that caught my eye was the nachos with artichoke and spinach dip, something that sounded unusual, but possibly interesting. With that ordered, and beers delivered, we came to the hard part of deciding what pizza to order. Size is never an issue; a large one will feed two people easily and be full up, whilst a small would feed one person with little room left. An easy decision made there, meant a difficult choice coming up, do we sacrifice the variety of toppings for amount of toppings, or amount of toppings for the variety of toppings.  The Devil Craft staff recommended the Devil Works to start, and reluctantly told us that it could take up to 45 minutes to make. Wow. 45 minutes. Those nachos had better come quick.

 

 

 

Nachos with artichoke and spinach dip.

Nachos with artichoke and spinach dip.

The nachos were salty, which is always welcome as  flavored nachos tend to be hit-and-miss, whilst the dip was still warm. Devil Craft pride themselves on having everything freshly made in-house, and you able to watch them making all their food via a small window that looks into the kitchen. The dip certainly was interesting, and had a fair amount of Parmesan and herbs in there, with what in particularly seemed to be mint. However, between four hungry people, it went all too quick, and we were left wondering whether to order more, or wait for the pizza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything but the kitchen sink.

The whole shebang on a pizza.

After another round of beers, the first of our pizzas arrived, the Devil Works at 3,100 yen for a large and 1,550 for a small, it contained mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, the  Devils’ Original House Marinara Sauce, salami, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, spinach, fresh tomatoes, black olives and green olives. So we were certainly getting our money’s worth. The pizza really was huge, at about 6 cm deep, and about 30 cm in diameter, we were wondering if we had ordered more than we could eat. The tomato sauce was slightly runny, a downer, but when the pizza was left to cool down for a bit, and probably a good idea as it was akin to eating molten lava it was that hot, the sauce had thickened out, and was good. Not too heavy on the herbs, and with a suitable amount of toppings, nothing had been skimped out on. One down, and in the hope of some more, we had overheard a fellow diner complement Devil Craft on their vegetarian pizzas. I know, vegetarian pizza, but it has cheese on still and cheese is always good. Known as The Eden, this is one of their classic pan pizzas, not so deep as a Chicago, but still packed to the top. With some extra feta cheese ordered, and another round of beers, we waited. And waited some more. And a bit more waiting. 45 minutes later, it turned up, and, well, it looked disappointing compared to the previous effort.

A vegetarian pizza.

A vegetarian pizza.

The Eden at 2,500 yen for a large and 1,250 for a small is a sauce less pizza with mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, feta, extra fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, spinach, black olives and green olives was a hit and proved that you can get decent, vegetarian pizza. The base was nowhere near as deep as the Chicago style, but the extra feta which we had ordered, again, as suggested by the staff, gave the pizza some extra saltiness, that was washed down with more beer. The pizza proved to be a big hit with the group, and we would definitely order this next time we come, hopefully with the extra feta cheese too.

By this time, the restaurant was packed, and there was a queue of people waiting to get in. So we decided to do the decent thing and order more food to make them wait even more. With some careful deliberation, we noticed that they served cheesecake. Was this madness? Four giant slabs of pizza, and your writer had room for some cheesecake.

Almost heavenly...needs a biscuit base.

Almost heavenly…needs a biscuit base.

A heavy New York style cheesecake, without the crunchy biscuit base, but what appeared to be crushed Oreos on top, with a raspberry framboise proved to be the finishing point of the evening. Nice and heavy, but let down by a lack of biscuit base, it proved that Devil Craft can certainly provide some great deserts to finish up your meal.

With the bill settled, stomachs full, and brains slightly sizzled, we eventually left, praising Devil Craft and what they had set out to achieve. Some great craft beers, wonderful pizza and a warm atmosphere. As this is a food review, the poop score is not going to be used here. Instead, a simple list of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Great selection of craft beers.
  • Wide choice of pizzas, both for vegetarians and meat-eaters.
  • Friendly service and easy to find.
  • Open from 5pm to late.
  • Smoke free.

Cons:

  • A little expensive, if you drink and eat a lot.
  • Pizzas can take their time during busy period, up to 1 hour in some cases.

Addendum:

  • All food and drink was paid for by the reviewer.

Open:

Mon to Fri 17:00 to 23:00. Happy hour until 18:00 (drinks 100 yen off)

Sat 15:00 to 23:00.  Happy hour until 17:00 (drinks 100 yen off)

National holidays  15:00 to 22:00.  Happy hour until 17:00 (drinks 100 yen off)

Website: http://en.devilcraft.jp/about/hamamatsucho/

About The Author

[Hairy talk show chap] [sandwich revolutionary] [grumpy English git living in Japan] Likes: games, web stuff, basketball, food, gadgets, shitty puns. Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan · KaijuPop.com