My last night in Kanazawa after a busy day out walking had me looking for a decent restaurant and a beer or two.
On the north west side of Kanazawa station there’s an annex of sorts with a couple of floors of restaurants. Up on the third floor I found an Izakaya (Japanese restaurant/pub) that had a great menu.
There were already a couple of people sitting at tables when I arrived, but I was given a seat at the counter looking into the kitchen.
I already knew that I was after yakitori as I’d seen in some online reviews that was this restaurants specialty.
For the next hour or so I ordered many different types of grilled meat and vegetables that were served piping hot from the charcoal grill. Not a disappointing dish was served.
Along with a couple of Japanese draft beers I left well feed and headed back to my closet of a hotel room for my last night in Kanazawa before heading to Nagano.
I stumbled across an interesting place after visiting the Ninja Temple while I was walking through the laneways of Kanazawa as I was looking for the Casa Samurai Nomura.
The plastic food in the window looked interesting enough for me to head inside. What I saw when I walked in was unlike any other restaurant I would eat at in Japan.
Thinking back this place had the feeling of an Italian family restaurant, but with a really eclectic, some would say random, menu – touches of Japanese, Indian and Western dishes.
There was a special deal at lunch – a main plus desert and a coffee which I chose mainly to get a cheap waffle.
Mainwise I chose a chicken Keema Curry which was pretty average I must say.
In hindsight I don’t buy pizzas from the Chinese, and I just learnt not to buy Indian food from the Japanese.
What saved the meal was a quite decent coffee and a waffle with ice cream.
After having 2 lunches and a siesta I was looking for a later dinner than I normally have, so a search for somewhere near the hotel was in order.
I went up the stairs and was greeted by the staff. The restaurant was quite busy. All the booths were full and there were only a couple of empty seats at the large communal table that ran the length of the restaurant, one of which was given to me.
The staff were run off their feet so it took a bit of hand waving to get my hands on an English menu. I’ve learnt that it’s best to order your drink the moment you get the menu, that way they have to come back in the near future with your drink, and you can order your meal at that time.
The menu had a pretty good selection of meals, and they were quite reasonably priced.
I ordered some chicken yakitori and a pork lion. The yakitori came out first and was good. The pork lion took a little more time, and when it came out I was not disappointed. It was cooked superbly, and tasted great.
The only downside is that eating at a communal table you are close by to any patron who decides to light up a cigarette – and there were a couple of folk doing just that as I was eating.
But in all, a good entree, a decent main and a couple of beers for less than ¥3500.
After the Beef and Egg rice at Shiroyamatei I did a quick explore of Kanazawa Castle and the gardens then headed off towards Omi-cho Market to have a look before it wound down for the day.
From Omi-chi Market I headed towards Kanazawa Station and my hotel looking for a snack. I made it all the way back to the station without finding much (it was after lunch hours) so decided to head into the Kanazawa Forus shopping complex. In Japan all shopping complexes have a floor or 2 of restaurants – it’s normally either the basement or somewhere near the top – in this case it was the 6th floor.
I did a quick scout around and settled on an Osaka-style Omonomiyaki restaurant called Chibo. I later found out that this is a chain of restaurants all around Japan.
I ordered a pork okonomiyaka – I had the option of having it cooked at my table or in the kitchen – I chose the kitchen.
Okonomiyaki takes time to make, so I was able polish off a pint of beer while I waited for the 15 minutes or so until my meal was delivered.
First impression was that the serving was on the small size but given that I’d already had the Beef and Egg rice meal about 3 hours earlier the size was just about right.
Taste-wise the okonomiyaka was good, not as good as what I got from Nagata-ya in Hiroshima, but very tasty nonetheless.
In all, a decent meal for the price.
After my visit to Kenroku-en Gardens I was looking to get lunch before heading into Kanazawa Castle.
As I was walking to Ishikawa Gate I walked past a small selection of restaurants just below the gardens.
I chose Shiroyamatei.
Walking in around noon I was shown to an empty table and given an English menu. There is also a more traditional Japanese dining area towards the back of the restaurant which would become busy while I ate.
I ordered a dish of Beef and Egg Rice and and large beer. It took about 10 minutes for my meal to be served and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s something about the way that the Japanese cook their onions in their dishes that make them so delicious!
Being in a touristy area the price was probably a little over the odds but you certainly can’t question the quality of the meal.