In an attempt to stand out from the multitude of pubs and restaurants packed in between Takatsuki’s two train stations, Nikusakaba Buzz describes itself as neither a steakhouse, bar nor restaurant — it’s just a chill place to enjoy meat and booze.

Despite the surfeit of staff, conversations between them can take precedence over attending to the customer, so service can be a bit hit or miss. Carnivores will want to order Buzz’s 300 grams of gekiyasu (bargain-priced) steak at ¥1,000. The American beef arrives sizzling on a hot stone. It’s by no means as marbled as wagyu (Japanese beef), and it’s minimally flavored, just salt as far I could discern, but for a heap of beef at that price it is Buzz’s standout dish.

There’s plenty of other izakaya (Japanese pub) staples, including a tasty garlic rice dish, ebimayo (fried prawns with mayonnaise) and an anchovy salad that could benefit from a few more anchovies.

The drinks menu, as with many izakaya, looks better than it actually is. The cocktails are served in jam jars and the beer in steins, but the vessels don’t hide the fact that the alcohol is no different to that of any other restaurant close by.

The only buzz here is in the name, but regardless it’s cheap, cheerful and meaty.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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