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Izakaya

A Bit Smarter Eating Out Featured

Sakagura, Mayfair – A Yakitori Disappointment

October 24, 2017

When people ask me what I miss most from Wellington, I dutifully rattle off a list which ranges from the sentimental to the purely practical. This includes: my family, seeing the sea on a regular basis, walking from my central city apartment to my office in under thirty minutes, being on the waterfront with a drink in hand on one of those notoriously good Wellington days, and a hot chocolate from Mojo. All fairly simple and probably in common with other Wellingtonians who have left our windy city… but recently, I realised there was one more thing I would add to that list – the upstairs yakitori bar on Courtenay Place. Your eyes do not deceive you, yakitori in Wellington, even I surprise myself sometimes.

It is a wild card but I often find myself reminiscing about those umami-rich skewers; tended to lovingly by the chefs and devoured hungrily by the diners in that hazy den of a restaurant. It was one of our favourite haunts, the place we went when we wanted some soothing for the soul. I thought it was good back then, but it feels even better now that every attempt to find something to fill this yakitori-sized hole in my life has so far been a flop. However, being a glass-half-full sort, I picked myself up from the last disappointment and dragged us to Sakagura, a stylish izakaya tucked in that unassuming lane behind Regent Street which happens to be laden with eateries.

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A Bit Casual Eating Out London

Beer and Buns, Shoreditch

March 17, 2015

Until recently I was what you called ‘bun-loyal’. My allegiances were clear, I was a devotee of the classic bready, preferably brioche, burger bun. As a self-confessed burgerholic (rewind to Burger Wellington 2012 and 2013 where I demolished 10 burgers in 14 days) I have no choice but to be a fan. After all, the bun is one of the three fundamental components of a burger, without it it’s just meat and 3 vege.

But lately there is a new bun that’s caught my eye… I know it’s been delighting fans for centuries but only in recent years has it become mainstream. I would credit, or blame depending on which side of the bun you’re on, David Chang for making it cool and London’s love of a trend for making it a craze. Of course, I am talking about the Hirata style steamed bun also known as bao or mantou.

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