Izakaya Night back for New Year's Eve [Events]

2012 Dec 19
Hi all,

I noticed the Niall has posted about this already on Suisha's foodie page, but I thought I'd do one here to make it more official. Yes, we are doing it again for New Year's Eve. We thought it might be a nice way to round of the year. Plus it would could make a great holiday gift for a foodie loved one!
Here's the website again:
www.japaninottawa.com/izakaya/
Thanks for your support last time, and hopefully we'll to see you again!

Liz

2013 Jan 1
i came w/ a later booking, we were there until last call. Boisterous, inexpensive (by NYE standards), varied and delicious ... kudos to Suisha, it was a blast. Highlights:

- nice sake selection. Liz, great work on your explanations! Our table quaffed several bottles + a several follow-up sampler flights. Everyone had their prefs (choice is good!) w/ the overall group favs leaning toward the Nambu Bijin Junmai Ginjo (720ml) and the Hakkaisan Junmai (320ml). Even the sake neophyte at our table was impressed w/ how nuanced these were. (Sadly, i was DD for the eve, so i restrained myself to thimble size portions ... sniff.)

- food-wise, think we ordered everything in Aisu's photos & more. Group favs inc. the pork belly, grilled salmon, the chicken karaage and takoyaki. My personal underdog fav was the slow braised taro & daikon combo (Nimono): simple presentation, modest ingredients ... sooo tasty with a slather of mustard. Also had the "tofu steak" (Atsu-age - the one salvageable photo i took) - slightly charred bottom and a ginger/soy marinade, it was quite nice. The Bean Curd pockets (shiso!, soba noodles) were yet another hit at the table. And, it seemed the rice issue had been corrected, at least on the nigiri's ordered at our table.

- service - amiable and hustling. At one point, I began to think several of our orders had been missed, but this simply reflected different preparation times. The restaurant did a good job in managing the pace w/ the 5-dish per order limit. We also went off-menu a couple times - our server accommodated deftly. Likewise, the owner was an ever-present figure, greeting, patiently helping servers-in-training (talk about trial by fire ... nye + izakaya!), bidding guests farewells out the door, etc. The kitchen chef also made an entrance toward the end of the evening, humble and politely making his way around tables to ensure everyone enjoyed their meals and to extend NY greetings - nice touch. :)

Nice to see a restaurant staffed by Japanese chefs branching out like this. Nothing was left uneaten and the Japanese expat @ our table shared the same overall sentiments Dawgjin speaks of.

@BB, I noticed a small group leaving, led by a young-looking elder woman. Presume it was your group ... hope your mother enjoyed?

2013 Jan 4
Oh yes, did I forget the takoyaki? The biggest hit at our table, round eyes of surprise, and then just savoured. Didn't want it to end. Never had it before, any other will have to work hard to compare.

Liz, if ever some of these dishes are incorporated in the menu, let us know! You already have two kinds of natto on the appetizer list, I'm sure a couple more fully-traditional dishes could be slipped in. We'll help spread the word. :)