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.