Izaka-Ya - The Japanese Experience
Yesterday evening I discovered Izaka-Ya with the students from my Japanese class and our Sensei. It was my first time in this restaurant and from the very moment you enter, you can feel the Japanese touch with the infamous "Irasshaimase!". All the staff speaks more or less Japanese which is nice and this place is frequented by Japanese people mainly.
Upon entering, you can see the open "kitchen" where most of the magic happens : sushi, sashimi, yakitori grilled on charcoal, yakisoba and a lot more, all prepared by the Japanese Cooks aka Sushi Masters (there is another kitchen at the back obviously). Another interesting detail that caught my eye is the number of sake bottles on the shelves of the kitchen wall...All of them with colourful writings...They actually are bottles belonging to customers who will return to finish them !! Isn't that cool? Basically, you order a bottle (~110€) and they bring blue, pink or yellow pens for you to write on the bottle so you can leave it in the restaurant and recognise it when you come back. I really like the idea!
We had a huge table and our sensei ordered a bit of everything so we could have a wide range of dishes to taste: sashimi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tako salad, seaweeds, various yakitori, fried tofu, udon and more. All arrived rather quickly, nicely presented and was like a wonderful burst of flavours.
To be honest the balance of tastes was mind blowing and I believe we all really appreciated it. Some who already have been to Japan were brought down memory lane at some point!! And I for one must admit that the taste of the food at Izaka-Ya is really close to authentic Japanese food. Plus, the customers are mostly Japanese, that tells you a lot.
Regarding the pricing, I was surprised to find the amounts quite gentle. Many starters cost 2,5€, 5€, 7,5€ so not so bad. I believe per person (and we ate a lot) we paid 30€ so totally ok!
Be aware that the kitchen closes rather early so order while you can!! You can enjoy lunch between 12:00 and 14:00, and you can have dinner from 19:00 until 22:00.