Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kakashi Yakitori - 焼鳥かかし

The amiable Master and authoritarian Mama will certainly cater to your every need. The fare is traditional Japanese yakitori - from pork belly sticks to chicken skin with sweet soy sauce - and entices many locals and regulars from further afield.

Master and Mama Koyanagi enjoying a drink!

Definite recommendations are the Mama's kobachi ( 小鉢), which are small bowls of homemade, tasty treats. These usually include seasonal seafood and vegetables and are always a delight. They are also a bargain, at only 180yen a bowl! There are usually about three or four on the menu to choose from, but hurry - they sell out quickly on busy nights.

Some lovely kobachi
Another highlight is Mama-san's homemade yuzu-kosho (citrus and chilli paste). This yuzu-kosho is unique in that the Mama uses kabosu citrus fruit, instead of the usual yuzu citrus. The difference is discernible from the intense citrus aroma and slight sweetness given by the use of kabosu. It is an amazing accompaniment to just about anything!
Amazing "kabosu"-kosho. Mama has just finished a new batch.

While the food is definitely an important feature of Kakashi, what really sets this yakitori apart from many others in Saga is the atmosphere. The Master has a perpetual grin on his face and his banter with his wife has many customers rolling with laughter. Mama-san herself, while appearing as cute as a little doll, often comes across as a domineering, battle-axe type but is also constantly making wisecracks and enjoys a drink and  a joke with anyone. The Master and Mama, while simply being themselves, have attracted kindred spirits to Kakashi - most regular patrons are known for their contagious humour and kindhearted qualities.

The Master in Manga
 If you are looking for delicious, homely food with a few laughs then Kakashi is for you. It's also a great place to practice your 佐賀弁 ("Saga dialect").  Don't be inimidated by the Mama's correction of your Japanese - she's only acting as most Mamas would!

Kakashi is open every day apart from Mondays. It is usually better to call and check they're open though. You can find more information here 焼鳥かかし 
The Master and Mama pre-yakitori!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Yakiniku Marujuu 焼肉まるじゅう

This is an inexpensive, yet delicious, Korean-style barbecue restaurant catering for everyone from young, fashionable people about town to old fellas on the lash.

There is a wide range of meats and cuts of meat on the menu; as well as traditional Korean fare, such as bibimba, kimchi platter, chijimi and so on.

They have course options available to satisfy the most hungry/thirsty of customers. The staff are also very helpful and friendly.

All in all, a great dining experience, especially for a group party with a gargantuan hunger for meat or a mega thirst for booze - or both!

You can find more information here -

Yakiniku Marujuu

A sinister looking customer.
Some meat.

88yen beer @ MuraHachi

October is the anniversary of Izakaya MuraHachi's opening, so to celebrate they are holding their (in)famous 88yen beer campaign again this year!

Every Wednesday in October (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st) you can pop along for some very cheap glasses of beer! Be aware of the fact that you will probably be charged for a little appetiser (300yen), so be prepared to add that to your bill!
There are also plenty of decent izakaya-style dishes on offer - spicy Mexican pizzas, chicken nanban, sashimi, French fries, chicken wings and, the house specialty, local charcoal-grilled chicken with a yuzukosho sauce.

Opening hours are 17:00 to midnight. Reservations are recommended!