Exploring IZAKAYA - Recommended Foods

When you come to Japan,what kind of Japanese food do you would you like to try?---Sushi, Yakitori,Tempura, there are so many, looks so delicious, but so difficult to choose...
You might think that you have to go to such specialized restaurants for those type of foods.

But you don't have to. There is one almighty,casual restraint for you.--IZKAYA. Like pub in UK, Bistro in France, Bar in Portugal, With alcohol, Japanese sake and local speciality food, Japanese IZAKYA are waiting for you at reasonable, sometimes very cheap price. Can you imagine wha they are? So let's explore together what kind of menu they have!

(1)Draft beer with Edamame and Hiyayakko

When you sit at the Izakaya counter, start with a glass of draft beer. Like Pilsner from Czechoslovakia, Japanese draft beer is sharp and easy to drink. We can say that it is the best casual aperitif to go with the Izakaya menu.

The best partners for such beer are Edamame and Hiyayakko. Edamame are soybeans boiled in the pods and salted. (When you eat them, squeeze them with your teeth). Hiyayakkos are cold Tofu with condiments such as ginger and dried bonito, with soy sauce poured over it. Both are very healthy and delicious, very popular Izakaya menu. Japanese businessmen like to eat two dishes, while drinking beer.

beer at japanese pub delicious edamame delicious hiyayakko

(2)Sashimi Assortment

Followed by beer, next comes the Sashimi assortment dish, after all.

What kind of fish do you usually eat, salmon or tuna, caught in the ocean and carried frozen? Here I would like to mention is sashimi fish, caught in the near waters. So fresh, it is the very Izakaya master's recommendation. You can eat delicious and fresh white meat, like sea brim and flat fish, and fish with a blue back, such as horse mackerel, sardine and mackerel. Those are cut, cleaned and served by this Izakaya master who goes to the fish market every early morning.

For those fresh and high-quality meat, let's pick up Daiginjo sake to go with.

Such white fish, being light and simple taste, fruity and ginjo aroma sake is the best match.

You will experience the happiest moment with those best sake and best sashimi, realizing the meaning to visit Japan.

delicious sashimi

(3)Japanese style potato salad

Let's choose Japanese style potato salad as a side dish.

You have a variety of choices such as salad or cooked vegetables with soy.
Today's choice, potato salad, is generally homemade cooking recipe, based on mashed potato with a small amount of vegetable and ham.But there exist some secret recipe in each Izakaya; potato dishes combined with homemade mayonnaise, mixed with sour dressing or simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

Try Japanese style mashed potato salad, quite different from western style one!

delicious potatosalad

(4)Yakimono (Yakitori)

Now we are entering the main course. We usually order Yakitori (grilled skewers) as our dinner proceeds.The background of Yakitori is very wide and deep. Yakitori meat is devided into two meat types, pork and chicken.

When we order the yakitori menu, we usually order them, indicating individually the parts of the meat. For example, when we order chicken yakitori, we mention the name such as thigh meat, gizzards, chicken skin, chicken butt, chicken and leek. As for pork, heart, lever, tongue, you must name such parts. Usually four to five bite-size yakitori-meats are threaded onto short bamboo, grilled over charcoal and served in pairs.

And you might be asked which do you prefer, soy and mirin-based, sweet tare sauce yakitori or simply salt-seasoned yakitori, only to enjoy the delicious meat itself.

Tare-type yakitori is dipped in tare first, the Izakaya master rotating the meats and poring the tare sauce. Usually that traditional tare sauce is passed from generation to generation in that Yakitori house.

delicious yakimono delicious yakimono part2 delicious yakimono part3

(5)The last course ; deep-fried korokke and pork

Japanese "korokke" (croquette ) and fried pork skewers are heavy, but delicious.

The Japanese korokke (croquette ) is said to be similar to the croquette in the French cuisine. French croquette, white-sauce bechamel based, is very creamy. On the contrary, Japanese korokke is the dish, combined with mashed potatoes and minced meet and coated with flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and deep-fried. This is the very Japanese home cooking.

Fried pork and reek skewer, bite-size pork and negi(leek) are threaded onto short bamboo, coated with flour, beaten egg, followed by breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. Dipped in brown, thick and Wourcestershire-like sauce, we eat them. (Many Izakaya has house sauce for those fried pork skewers).

Dipped in this sauce, skewed pork become more delicious when you drink with Shochu, like red wine and meat. Please do try.

delicious agemono

(6)The end of the dinner

After tried several Izakaya menu, we would like to finish our Izakaya course with rice(gohan-mono) before going home. As our eating habit, we, the Japanese are very satisfied, if we can finish our meal with rice menu.

The most popular and regular rice menu are onigiri ( rice ball ) and ochazuke ( rice soked in green tea). Onigiri, rice ball, in the amount of ocha-wan bowl is shaped round by both hands and sprinckled with pinch of salt. We usually put some fillings (like plum) into it and wrap it in nori (seaweed) sheet.

Ochzuke, also rice in a such bowl, we put some topping it like salmon, umeboshi ( plum ), or string-type salty dried kelp, on the top. And we pour green tea or dash ( bonito- based )soup over rice.

There are varieties of fillings and toppings for onigiri and ochazuke as well as their taste, to name a few. For further information, let me propose my additional explanation some other time.

delicious gohanmono delicious gohanmono part2 delicious gohanmono part3

(7)Izakaya price range

Izakaya, Japanese tavern, offers dishes at very reasonable price. Many Japanese businessmen go to Izakaya almost every day, so for them, the price of Izakaya menu should corresponds with their pocket money.

One dish costs from approximately 300 to 500 yen. More higher price range is 500 to 800 yen. Over 1,000 yen-menu is very rare. 5000-6000 yen would be enough for two persons' eating and drinking. (Average cost per person pays at Izakaya is 2,500 to3,000 yen.)

So Japanese Izakaya offers devious and wonderful menu with a very reasonable price, We can say the cost-performance is very high. You can enjoy eating and drinking fully.

delicious nihonshu


Izakaya is a very comfortable place for the Japanese, as I told you. I believe real Wa-shoku exists in Izakaya, so going to Izakaya is highly recommended even it seems a challenge.

But some of the points to be considered are; Izakaya master as well as its customer speak only Japanese. There are many unconcerned smokers and noisy and drunken men next to you. So it is better for you to be guided by the Japanese who is familiar with Izakaya when you go there for the first time. And you'd better bring your eating "wish list" or pictures with you to communicate with Izakaya master or staff when you order.