Next week is the start of midterms, and my friends and I definitely are not looking forward to it. This means that we’re all most likely going to become hermits this weekend and stay indoors to study – with perhaps a few TV/movie breaks in between. Oh yeah… and food as well. Eating properly is important. But we decided that we needed one final farewell before our temporary remission into hermit-hood. One of my friends recommended Kota’s Kitchen, a Beatles themed izakaya.
I could not help but chuckle to myself when I first read the description for Kota’s Kitchen: “Beatles yakitori sochu bar”. I imagined a bar filled with an excessive amount of posters and memorabilia showing off fandom for The Beatles. In reality, Kota’s Kitchen was far less tacky than I had anticipated, and we enjoyed dining while having songs such as “Hey Jude” and “Eleanor Rigby” play quietly in the background.
An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent to a bar or a pub, and it’s a popular destination for coworkers to get together after a long day at work. Keeping with tradition, after you are seated at Kota’s Kitchen, you will receive a hot wet towel to clean your hands followed by an appetizer. The appetizer consisted of a large bucket filled with raw vegetables to dip into Japanese mayonnaise or a spicy tomato sauce.
We ordered chicken tender skewers (¥ 15 each), shitake mushroom skewers (¥ 10 each), and asparagus skewers (¥ 15 each). All were grilled perfectly without being dry.
We also ordered a hot spring egg croquette (¥35). This giant croquette had an oozing boiled egg in the middle, and it was nicely crisp. It’s served in a pool of cream sauce with corn, tomatoes, and onions.
We had the spicy cod roe fried potato (¥45) as well. This came out on a sizzling plate, and the amount of butter used in this dish was sinfully good. I couldn’t figure out where the “spicy” part came in, though.
Just because we were so enticed by the name of the dish, we also ordered the sumo wrestler hot pot for 3 people (¥100). We were given a small burner and a clay pot filled with fishcakes, vegetables, noodles, chicken meatballs, and thinly-sliced pork. This was good, but I think it would have been more worth it to stick with the grilled items on the menu.
We also ordered sochu – plum, peach, grapefruit, and apple. We thought that the drinks might have been infused with the fruit flavors, but instead we were given a glass of sochu with a piece of fruit dropped in. The only difference that we noted was that the plum one was a bit sweeter than the rest. Other than that, we felt as if we were just drinking plain sochu.
Overall, Kota’s Kitchen was quite good. The food was a bit pricey considering a large portion of the items didn’t require any complex preparation, but the flavors were pretty much all spot on. The menu was also diverse, with good options from both the yakitori side and the non-grilled side. With a good balance of elevated yet down-to-earth, Kota’s Kitchen is a great place to have a leisure, late dinner and chat the night away with friends or coworkers.
Kota’s Kitchen (Maido)
2905 Xietu Road
Monday – Sunday 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM