Today I would like to take a step away from “kawaii” and introduce a well-known Japanese “izakaya” (tavern/bar) chain and all the delicious food I tried there! Hopefully you can get an idea of what some popular Japanese “otsumami” (food and snacks to be eaten with drinks) are.
Uwotami is an “izakaya” chain that can be found throughout Japan. The prices are not too expensive and the food is well above average! I’ve only been a few times, but every time I’ve been happy with the service and the food.
I’m not a beer person, but this frozen beer is very pleasing to the eye! The little “manekineko” (lucky cat) is an additional “kawaii” touch. Frozen beer is very popular in the summer and can be very refreshing at the end of a long hot day!
As soon as we arrived and ordered our drinks we were served an “otoshi” which is basically an appetizer that doubles as a seat charge. Most Japanese izakaya will have these and they can range in price depending on where you are and what kind of restaurant or bar it is. It’s usually a simple dish and I thought the one that was served to us was very generous in portion. Sometimes you only get a small dish of chips or popcorn. Generally you cannot decline an “otoshi” so you should think of it as an unavoidable service fee or tip.
I am a lover of all fried foods so we started off our evening with an order of these delicious looking spicy potatoes! The batter on the potatoes reminded me of KFC.
Of course Japanese style “kara-age” fried chicken was present!
“Gyoza” or pot stickers are always the best when they’re piping hot!
This was a cut rib steak. I wasn’t a huge fan of it because the meat was a little too tough for me, but the mashed potatoes were spectacular!
Another favorite is “tamagoyaki” or Japanese style omelette. Garnished with some grated daikon radish and soy sauce it is always delicious!
Caesar salad topped with fried won-ton skins? I’m not 100% what is was, but it tasted good!
I know we already had egg earlier, but these looked too good to not get. Miso flavored eggs with some green onions and seaweed. It may sound bizarre, but don’t judge until you try!
Yakitori chicken! I prefer chicken thigh, but I must admit that I do like the occasional chicken skin too. (Pictured on the right)
More egg! You’d almost think we like egg or something, huh. This was called beef sukiyaki egg and was so good! We had this at the end of our meal and the slightly sweet soy broth was so good with the soft egg and beef.
Japan has so many interesting and delicious dishes to offer! When I go out to eat and even when I cook at home I tend to repeat my favorites, but I hope that if and when you visit Japan you will have the courage to try some new things! The unknown isn’t always weird ;) Don’t forget to look for an Uwotami when you’re here! If you live in Japan and know of any good “izakayas” in the Kanto area let me know!