As dinner time arrives, I walk into the small Izakaya restaurant hidden in an alley way behind Rabba Fine Foods. The 50 seat spot is cozy, well decorated and quieter than your usual Izakaya. The friendly waitress gushes us to our seats at the bar where you can watch the chef cook . I highly recommend this option if you have a small party! Waiting for me, is a little place card that reads: “Have fun Jessica!”. What a nice gesture!
We chose a combination of dishes recommended by our waitress and from what we observed being cooked up right in front of us. One of the highlights was the okonomiyaki prepared Hiroshima style. I’ve had the original Japanese pancake many times but was fascinated by the Hiroshima twist. This version takes longer to make and includes a few more ingredients:
First, the pancake is topped with thin slices of grilled pork and raw cabbage. When the cabbage is cooked, cuts of squid, shrimp and flavourful ramen is piled on. The dish is complete with an omelette, okonomiyaki sauce and bonito flakes. The texture of the ramen complemented the pancake unexpectedly well! I doubt I can ever go back to the original.
We filled our stomachs with seared tuna sauced in ponzu jelly, chicken karaage (fried chicken), gyu steak with wasabi sauce, omu soba meshi (a rice and noodle dish) and oden (japanese style hot pot). The standard menu has a variety of cold appetizers, salads, teppanyaki, deep fried foods and noodles/rice. The restaurant also has a specials menu that changes daily. For our dinner of 2, the bill came to $60 before taxes and tip.
We don’t see fancy ingredients or new food revelations. This isn’t that type of restaurant. The food is familiar, comforting and will make you go back for more.
24 Wellesley West