Suanne and I decided to start eating up. Let’s see … over the past three years of food blogging, we had blogged a total of 19 Japanese dine outs. Most of it was AYCEs (all-you-can-eat), ramen, bento boxes and sushi platters. The most gourmet places was Daimasu which I had every other comment lambasting me for even saying that it was great. Oh yeah, we also went to Tenhaci and I also got lambasted for saying that I hit the can several times after the meal. LOL!
So, here you go … Izakaya. Oooooo … Suanne and Ben’s is eating up. Ooooo … gourmet Japanese!
We initially wanted to go to Manzo Izakaya but found that it was closed on Monday. Looking across the street on Alexandra, there is Seto which I heard rave reviews of. But then I also heard of the review that says it costs $60 for a meal for two in Seto. That kind of rules Seto out.
It just so happen that there is another Izakaya just a few doors away. We peeked into the place and it looked OK and pretty authentic Japanese.
Nan Chuu is authentic alright. Everyone speaks Japanese here and when the wait staff came by to speak to us her accent is clearly Japanese.
You know what I like about this place. When we walked in, everyone (and I mean) everyone yelled something. I guess it was to greet us but we never quite know if it was meant for us.
The booth we were seated in was very narrow … and dark too if I may add. Also, Suanne observed that it was loud … loud music and all. I gather that this is quite common in an Izakaya … with the word Izakaya meaning a Sake Shop.
We were given two menus … a fancy wood cover menu and another hand drawn Today’s Special. The waitress was very helpful trying to explain what they have but it was all over our head. So, after mulling for a good few minutes we decided on three items.
We had absolutely no idea what we were ordering and told the waitress that. She smiled and said “yes” politely. I don’t think she got half of what we said.
The first one was the Tuna Yukke with Seaweed under Nori Wrap. They had this as special for $5.50 before 7PM. Since they highly recommended this we said yes even though we had no idea what it looked like nor did we know what Yukke was.
When it was brought to our table, it was later explained to us that the sauce is Yukke.
We were told to mix the chopped tuna up and then warp it with the seaweed. We almost ran out of the Nori because we put in too little tuna. Extra nori was like $1 for 5 pieces.
There was an item on the menu that has a bubble that says “must try”. That item was the Tuna Tataki. It is like sashimi except that it’s lightly seared on the outside. Suanne does not eat raw fish and left it all to me. Nice! $7 for this one.
Then there is this dish called Mini Oden Hotpot. There are a number of items served in a pot of clear soup base. We saw one hard boiled egg, nicely cut daikon, vermicelli tied in a bundle, tofu puff and fish cake. $7.50.
It was a small start. Total was $21 before tips. We enjoyed it and am sure this is just a fleeting intro to Izakaya dining. We’ll try other places in time to come. At the meantime, educate Suanne and I … what are some of the must order food in Izakaya. We are such babes when it comes to Japanese food.