LIVERPOOL HAS UNDERGONE A RENAISSANCE, WITH MORE FINE RESTAURANTS SPRINGING UP IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. CASTLE STREET IN LIVERPOOL IS A PRIME LOCATION TO ESTABLISH A SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED JAPANESE EATERY.
Words: Jean Hill
In Japan, Izakaya represents a simple kind of eating place, akin to a tavern, where you can drink beer and sake, and eat snacks. When His & Hers was invited to sample Japanese fare at Izakaya, we were intrigued and excited. The menu ranges far beyond snacking, and you can enjoy a wide range of beautifully presented dishes which incorporate: fish, or meat and vegetarian food in subtly different ways.
We were greeted at the entrance. It’s an intimate space, with a simple décor, black and white walls, distinctive wooden seating, and beautiful suspended lanterns to illuminate the interior. Although this is not a large restaurant , we enjoyed our own space, and we couldn’t hear any other conversation, even when the restaurant filled up.
If you are not familiar with Japanese food, ask for recommendations. The waiters are ready to talk you through the menu. Rhys, our food waiter, and Sam, our drinks waiter were friendly and ready to help. It is the sort of food that you can share, a similar concept to Spanish Tapas. My own favourite was Chicken Katsu Curry with Japanese pickle and sticky rice. Traditionally, Katsu curry comprises garam masala, honey, soy sauce and garlic. The chicken is coated, breaded and fried which makes for a crisp satisfying bite. The Lamb Gyoza with mint and coriander was delicious with its parcels of flavoursome and tender meat. I chose Pannacotta with passionfruit for dessert, which had layers of sweet, slightly sharp and juicy mango. The house red wine was smooth with some depth, and reasonably priced.
It was an evening of sociable fun and great food. I enjoyed dishes that were new to me, and we will be back because there is much more to sample on the menu.
For similar features, visit our food & drink page.