Sunday, December 20, 2009

11/27/09: Day 8 in Japan, Part II - Izakaya in Saga City

The next stop on the itinerary was Saga City. I knew very little about the prefecture of Saga, but my reason for being here will become apparent in the next entry.

I checked in at a business hotel in front of the JR Saga station. One of the great thing about Kyushu so far? Hot spring bath every day, even in business hotels.

As I had no agenda this evening, my dinner option was up in the air. Checking the internet didn't yield an "a-ha!" moment, so best bet was to walk around the old neighborhood. Just couple of blocks away, Za Watami visually caught my attention.

Za Watami is an izakaya, and as being in Kyushu, featuring shochu. I received a seat by the bar.

The menu was colorful with lot of pictures. "Cherry Meat Sashimi" looked great, so I ordered it as part of the first order. It was melt-like-butter soft. I found out after the fact that "Cherry Meat" is a code for "horse meat."

Also part of the first order was spring roll wrapped in yuba, or chewy tofu skin...

...and yellow tail sashimi.

The drink was barley shochu all the way. I had Shira-shin-ken from Oita Prefecture, home of Yufuin.

The second order included juicy pork cooked in sukiyaki-like sauce served with scallions and egg...

and deep fried chicken tatsuta-agé.

The last order (〆) was fried champon noodle with egg served in a hot stone bowl, inspired by Korean bibimbop. With all the food, I took home some of the fried chicken and noodles for lunch the next day.

The total tab was about 4,000 yen ($46). Not bad at all! As Za Watami is a chain izakaya, it's definitely worth a visit when you're in Japan.

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