Fukuyama Nights: A Trip to Kensington Pub
Written by Elliott Yoo
The Kensington Pub is located in 大黒町 (Daikoku-chō), which is just north of the JR tracks in Fukuyama City. While its location is not the best, you are more likely to run into individuals walking home rather than anyone who would be up to going for drinks or a party. Nevertheless, Kensington is a great place to go for dinner, to relax with friends, to watch sports, or just about anything else. While it is also open during the day as a café and lunch spot, I’ve only ever visited at night, thus everything I mention has nothing to do with the pub before 6 pm. If you are interested in going, Kensington is open daily from 11:00 – 23:00 with Tuesdays as their day off.
The first thing that I noticed upon entering Kensington was the large variety of beers that were available. For a restaurant in Fukuyama, they have a large selection of beers. You can find a range of brews from Black Isle, Fuller’s, Murphy’s, and more. Guinness, Kilkenny, Asahi Premium, Lӧwenbrau, and Bass are served on tap. My personal drinks of choice are the New Castle brown ale and the Hobgoblin dark ale, both of which cost 600 yen a bottle. Beer prices range from 600 – 1000+ yen, and the prices seem quite fair considering they’re imports. Kensington also offers cocktails for 600 yen, as well as bottles of red, white, and sparkling wines. A glass of wine will set you back 500 yen. The pub also has a variety of whisky available, most of which are well known labels such as Macallan, Ardberg, Bowmore, etc. You’ll be able to experiment and taste an assortment of alcohol at Kensington, and that alone makes a trip worth it to me.
Styling itself after a “British pub” means that Kensington also offers some pub style foods. Fish and chips, and chicken and chips are the most popular choices and are quite good. Either choice offers 4-5 pieces of fried protein and a side of fries, as well as a few sauces like tartar and ketchup, and a lemon wedge for flavoring. Another great choice is the grilled lamb in red wine sauce, which is served with onion rings and a small side salad. I have ordered it several times. It is consistently tender and full of flavor. Food will cost around 800-1200 yen; course plans are available, as well as a 飲み放題(Nomihōdai) option for 2000 yen.
The pub always keeps at least one door open; the outer section of the restaurant is the smoking section and you are bound to see a few bugs fly or crawl in. If you prefer, you can always sit in the inner part of the pub where the A/C feels much cooler and you will be closer to the chef. The staff is quite friendly, but they’re not always attentive enough to clear your plates quickly or check on how you’re doing. I’ve never been to an English pub so I could be completely wrong, but I think that it would be a good idea for a waitress/waiter to come by every now and then to see how the meal is going. You will be sumimasening quite a bit to get what you want. However, with two large TVs mounted to the walls and sports games usually shown, at least you’ll be entertained whilst you wait. The pub has BS channels, allowing you to watch pay-per-view Japanese sports programs, thus you won’t have to worry about being cut off midgame most of the time.
Sitting at Kensington with a few friends, watching the big game, with a drink other than Asahi or Kirin has become one of my more enjoyable moments in daily life. The establishment is great for a few drinks or a meal, and I highly recommend a visit. Be sure to try some of the imported beers, as you definitely won’t find some of that elsewhere in the city.
Hours: Daily 11:00 – 23:00