Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Meals: Ippuku

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is. Bacon mochi—aka the most delicious thing to ever be in my mouth. Ha.
If you're interested in trying out some fancy Japanese cuisine without having to go out for sushi for the 50th time (no complaints here), you might want to go to an izakaya like Ippuku instead. They serve an array of different alcoholic beverages with various side dishes like the traditional yakitori (a grilled chicken kebab) and kara-age (fried chicken). With that said, there should be warnings about the near pornographic food pictures ahead.

We started off with some Dungeness crab croquettes that did not disappoint. The crab was hearty and perfectly creamy with a crunchy and light outer shell. Delicious.

But of course as an izakaya, a type of Japanese drinking establishment, we just had to try the yakitori ("grilled chicken"). To try a variety of different chicken parts, we settled for the Omakase Gushi. This included five skewers of which there were skewers of heart, neck, shoulder blade, thigh with leak, and breast. A little bit of everything for everyone!

Oh and I guess it was my birthday too—my 21st actually. Forgot to mention that. Pudding and I are trying to decipher the taste of the chicken heart here.

Komochi Shishamo with roe is an acquired taste to be sure but as a fish and a fish roe lover, I would definitely recommend this.

And look at that kara-age, oh my! It was perfectly crunchy and flavored just right.

Oh and look at that yaki onigiri ("grilled rice balls"). The sweet and salty taste of the sauce worked perfectly with the toasty and fragrant rice!

If that wasn't all, we HAD to try the ramen. Ippuku serves noodle soups for lunch as opposed to the yakiniku and other traditional izakaya fare so we decided to give their noodles a try because their lunch prices run a little high! Served in a clean shoyu ("soy sauce") broth, the ramen noodles were some of the best I've had!

No, we didn't forget the drinks. Here's the grapefruit chu-hai that I ordered…

…but not after juicing the grapefruit myself! It was sweet and I can say with absolute certainty that the juice was freshly squeezed. ;D And because I'm a lightweight, I also ordered the sweetest sake on the menu which was the Miyasaka Yamahai sake. It was verrry sweet and tasted about as sweet as port wine. If you like your sweet drinks, I'd say you should give this one a shot. Ha...

And with that, don't let the slightly imposing exterior and dark interior frighten you! The waiters are friendly and the atmosphere was very wabi-sabi. It's a beautiful, relaxing, and elegant place for parties and a perfect place for a fancy dinner date. Y'all should visit.
Food:  Delicious Japanese "pub" fare!
Atmosphere:  Very elegant and sophisticated.
Service:  The wait time can be kinda long especially during dinner time.
Price: $$$ More on the expensive side.

Writer: Princess
Photographer: Potato
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