The demand for Japanese cuisine does not seem to be dwindling any time soon, and we have another new kid on the block: The Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar. In Japanese, Kushiyaki literally means “cooked on a stick”, and it pretty much sums up the place.
My two girlfriends and I went for dinner on a Wednesday night during the soft launch period (50% off the food bill!), and it was pretty packed. Their menu is small but covers the basics, which kind of makes it more authentic – they’re after the bar/pub vibe of these types of places in Japan, where people would stop by for a quick bite and a beer before heading home after work.
As they had just opened, the service was a little haphazard and the place was hardly a well-oiled machine, but that’s to be expected – and the reason for soft launches! The staff were friendly though and it was a cosy, casual atmosphere.
We pretty much ordered most of the menu (not hard to do…) – including fried squid, prawns, pork belly, chicken breast, chicken thigh, quail eggs, tomato with bacon, tempura courgettes, soft shell crab, and tonkatsu (fried pork). Everything was flavourful and well-cooked; my favourites were the pork belly and chicken thigh, but there wasn’t a dish I didn’t enjoy. I would say that none of it was spectacularly impressive, but it was all very good.
The real verdict is, would I go back and pay full price for the menu? I actually think I would, but not for a full dinner with a big appetite. If I was feeling slightly peckish and wanted a snack-ish meal, it would be a good place to go.
I had a great evening catching up with my girls though (they also had decent wine for decent prices) and we all left happy and full, so I’m glad we gave it a try and would love to know your thoughts if you go there!