Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Za Watami 坐・和民 : Izayaka Grub

This izakaya is operated by the same group behind the Watami outlets in Hong Kong and Singapore. While there are many Watami outlets in Japan, I cannot tell much difference between Za. Watami and Watami as they share the same menu. Compared to Watami SG, the food at Watami Japan is even cheaper and comes in larger portions.
Take for instance the Signature Watami Salad (490 yen) that is topped with creamy crab potato mayonnaise salad. They are certified to be organic, from the raw greens to the dressing. One thing commonly observed across Caesar Salad in Tokyo so far is that they are all topped with a beautiful onsen egg. The Caesar Salad (430 yen) at Watami is no exception and contains even avocado chunks
Seasonal specials include the lightly marinated Nanohana and steamed oysters
But as it is an izakaya, one cannot expect food to be of restaurant standards. After all, it is more about drinking and socializing. The super-thin crust pizza was pathetic as it was soggy and bland. Any Italian would disagree with calling it a "pizza". The stir fry cabbage that reminded of the chinese fermented bean cabbage dish was unbearably salty. It would be ideal if there was some dipping shoyu sauce for the bland deep fried tofu (360 yen). The grilled chicken steak is tender, juicy, but a need to cut down on the sodium.

Nonetheless, I would recommend the Tonpeiyaki (430yen), a meatless kind of okonomiyaki that could not go wrong with the predictably delicious sauce. The grated yam in cheese is another comfort dish that alleviates the sinful factor by using tofu instead of potatoes.



The signature Teppan Gyoza (330 yen) lived up to expectations with its juicy interior and crispy crust. Both the Kimchi and deep fried lotus chips (330 yen) were tasty snacks to pair with beer. Mayonaise is the standard dip for deep-fried shishamo and karaage chicken  

For those who love their carbohydrates, there are plenty of choices from ramen to donburi. The Yakisoba in sweet soy sauce was tasty and so was the negi toro sushi. 
Interesting Shoe Locker
Just like the savoury dishes, desserts at Izakaya were average but did measure up to the cheap price. The matcha Bavarian pudding was surprisingly intense but not overdone. The lava centre of chocolate fondant cake was in viscous liquid state but it could be served warm. The Strawberry Millefeuille was a messy stack of underbaked puff pastry and chantily cream. The Kamakura custard pudding covered in copious amount of cream was overwhelmingly sweet and too rich. 
For the low prices, the overall food pass muster. Do note that smoking is permitted. Such Izakayas are still good for drinking but it would be advisable to look elsewhere if you crave for gourmet food. 

Za Watami 坐・和民

Roppongi Plaza 4F, 3-12-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 160-0032

Daily 5pm-3am (Until 5am on Fri/Sat and Eve of PH)

Store List and Menu Here

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