Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for two
Price: 5670 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Beef tongue with negi and garlic, karaage salt and yuzu flavor, chicken skin chips, salad, two small bottles of sake
English Menu: Yes, at least the main dishes
My wife joined me for Wednesday night dinner last night and may be coming along more often in the future with her new schedule. We were going to walk all the way to Kenritsudaigaku, but on the way we came across Arashi, a newish looking izakaya in a pretty skeezy area of town that features beef tongue and karaage as their specialties, so we decided to try it out.
After perusing the menu in Japanese and deciding on what we wanted we realized that on the back was a nice English translation of the main dishes. There were also some specials and smaller dishes that are still only in Japanese.
|Salad and beef tongue|
I love beef tongue, but mainly of the boiled, Mexican style used in tacos. I routinely make it at home and use it for lunches. Beef tongue is also popular in Japan, but usually sliced thin and cooked on a grill. This produces a much more rubbery texture than I like. I was hopeful it would be different here, but no, the tongue was still pretty rubbery. I'll have to try the extra special tongue next time to see if there is any difference.
My wife loves karaage, which is available at virtually all convenience stores here. I like it too. The problem is it is usually made with some combination of spice powders that renders capable of producing the most unpleasant (to others) potent burps, so it's a sometimes food for sure. Getting the opportunity to eat at a place that specializes in karaage was a treat, and my wife ordered the salt and yuzu flavors. These were quite good, lacking in the overly processed spice powderiness of the convenience stores, and still quite good.
|Chicken skin chips|
We also ordered a local veg mix salad and a plate of fried chicken skin chips, both of which were really delicious. The overall price was bumped up by the two small bottles of sake that we shared (about 1400 yen could be shaved off without drinks) but there is an unstated pressure to order something to drink at any izakaya.
We really enjoyed the place and would like to return to try more things on the menu some day.