Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Izakaya

Posted by spacemonkey99 on May 4, 2010

I have been hearing about Izakaya for years.  As the story goes, it used to be a place run by and for Japanese customers only (or you had to at least be Japanese-speaking).  I guess times change, and now there are non-Japanese customers such as myself who venture to try it.  But, by the number of Japanese clientele it seems it has quite authentic cuisine (or they could just be there for the Japanese karaoke found in the basement).  Above you see the free starter everyone gets but not everyone enjoys. Its tangy, sweet, fishy.  Those familiar with real (not the Westernized versions) of Japanese, Korean or even Chinese cuisine will taste familiar flavors and textures.  Those less familiar will either love it or hate it.

We decided to try a variety of dishes including the above mixed platter (~10 euros) of yakitori and other grilled meats.  The chicken, mushroom and shrimp were by far the best.  The strange one was the cheese and bacon. Question mark there.

Above the grilled mackerel, a favorite with fish lovers and recommended here as it was quite tasty.

The karaage (fried chicken) was also done well for those familiar with this dish. Crispy and crunchy.

We also tried many other dishes such as the udon, tempura, chicken with rice and so on.  Overall, our group had mixed reviews.  Some people loved it.  The udon was overcooked and the noodles were soggy which was a disappointment. The tempura was perfect ~ light, fluffy, tasty but a bit expensive at 18 euros for 6 – 7 pieces.  In spite of being a bit expensive (we paid 35 euros a person and not everyone felt they had eaten sufficiently) I would recommend this place ~ order some warm or chilled sake, enjoy the dishes in a tapas-style way sharing with your friends and try something Japanese other than sushi!

Izakaya

Chaussée de Vleurgat, 123

1050 Ixelles

Food: B+/A-
Atmosphere: B+/A-
Service: A-
Price: B
Languages: French, English, Japanese

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One Response to “Izakaya”

  1. bxlblog said

    The place is authentic indeed, but like in any other izakaya (the name for this type of establishment), the place is intended for people who want to have some drinks (and some food with it) after work. In that sense, izakaya is to Japan what a tapas bar is to Spain.

    Therefore, I would recommend ordering the small, tapas-like dishes and sharing (rather than the udon type dishes) because that’s what their best at. The okonomiyaki is good and they also make some decent agedashi tofu.

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