Combine from the ‘i’ (to stay) and sakaya – which means to shop, the whole word come together meaning as “a sake shop for people to stay”. Izakaya is a Japanese pub, a space where locals come to relax, loosen up their ties and getting home a bit tipsy.
The story of this drinking culture trace back to the Edo period (1603-1866). Starting from a businessman serving drink samples with options of light snacks, it’s now part of the majority lifestyle, across gender and social class. Izakaya are also called Akachochin 赤提灯 – for the red lanterns often hangs outside an Izakaya. Walk in an izakaya: the cheering sound, the “click clack” of porcelain cups; you are completely divided from the world outside, opposite to the typical Japanese facade.
You may not know about this, but Izakaya are also vary in their setting. In small regions, many Izakaya gather in an alley, called Yokocho よこちょ. These Yokocho have a history of 400 years, back when the Japanese build the house in lands that are separated by a small alley in which prohibited for general usage. Eventually Yokocho are created when people agreed to share these pathways. Izakaya in large cities are inspired in a bar format.
Izakaya are now part of the modern culinary world with many of them found across the world.
HOW TO “IZAKAYA” ?
Depending on the style, tatami mats with low tables or a regular table with be delivered at your seating. Bar counter are also an option for customers, offering them a direct experience as dishes are being prepared.
Once settled in, an oshibori (hot towel) to cleanse their hands and otōshi (a small appetizer) will be served as tradition. This will be charged in lieu of table fee with a small price.
Choosing your options
When you have decided to order food, a menu can be placed on the table or displayed on the wall. Just holler Sumimasen (excuse me) when you’re ready.
The two common format in Izakaya are nomi-hōdai (all you can drink) and tabe-hōdai (all you can eat). For a fixed price per person, customers order freely for an hour or two with some item restrictions.
Get a bit tipsy
Japanese tend to start off with a cold nama-biru – draft beer and having otōshi while browsing through the options. Simply say “とりあえずビール” (toriaezu biiru!) to get a beer.
Some famous Izakaya offer a 1-2 hours serving per guest, but most of them are open to all overnight till dawn. Getting a bit drunk and stay for the night.
Drink selection spreading out upto 100 options from soju, cocktails, and even non-alcohol drinks. Japanese tend to start up a low-alcohol drink then move up gradually to stronger drinks.
The culinary experience
Typical menu consists of yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), karaage (fried chicken pieces), sashimi, sushi, tofu, rice and yakisoba (Japanese stir-fry noodle). Izakaya dishes are small and shared by everyone at the table.
Preparing to set off
When you are ready to leave, just say “O-kaikei onegai shimasu” (Check, please) to ask for the bill or simply head to the cashier where it awaits.
Izakaya at Nomu
Offering a Bar-setting with 20 seats, immerse yourself in the japanese culinary experiences as you watch the chefs making your dishes. Lounging with your friends making conversations with our complimentary nama-biru for each guest coming to Nomu! Experience our delicate cuisine of blending the original dishes with Yoshoku method – A la carte to your cravings or order from our two set menu.
An Izakaya experience, elevated, at Nomu.