We eat Japanese food about once a week. This doesn’t make us experts but we’ve been making the rounds, sampling the sushi and sashimi in this town, since some of you were in short pants. Newly opened and firecracker-fresh, Yoshikawa Izakaya is an unassuming and not overly large establishment in Binjiang, and the steady stream of Japanese patrons is surely testament to how right they’ve got things.
Seating is distributed over two compact floors – five tables downstairs and four upstairs, where there are three closet-sized private tatami rooms. These might not be suitable for the claustrophobic (they are sans windows), but we were four adults and one very active child and it struck as cozy and intimate rather than confining. What’s more, the rooms are divided by sliding-doors -- a great option for parties of more than six un-svelte grown-ups. When the temperature finally drops to ragg wool cardigan levels, we can’t think of anywhere else we’d rather be, pounding sake and their ice cold Asahi draft while a briny seafood hotpot fills our private atmosphere with the fragrant steam of fresh udon noodles.
The California-style rolls 加州卷(30RMB) were exactly what they needed to be to hold our attention, while the Sashimi Combination 刺身拼盘(salmon, tuna, swordfish, and black carp) (118RMB) were fresh, delicate, and proof of ownership’s commitment to making this place the real deal. As piece after piece of salmon melted in our mouths, we appreciated the absence of pretention. You’ll get nicer-looking platters elsewhere – floral garnish, a dry ice mist malingering around it – but we doubt you’ll find better sashimi in Pondville. The black carp deserves special attention.
The Grilled Cod 烤银鳕鱼 (65RMB) is the best we’ve had in this city. Likewise for the eel烤鳗鱼 (48RMB).The Deep Fried Chicken with Lemon Vinegar 柠檬醋炸鸡块(28RMB) is possibly one of the best values in the city, and we welcome you to join us in giving the chicken finger to the Colonel. There was nothing on our crowded table we didn’t wish we had more of. Yoshikawa Izakaya impressed. English menu and parking available.