Lonsdale Street stalwart, Izakaya Chuji is by no means slick. The interior is prosaic, yet the atmosphere is lively and inviting and has been so since 1989. Rather than a dowdy spinster, Chuji is like the eccentric aunty, playing the latest Japanese pop music and always happy to see you.

Take a seat at a table or at the traditional counter at the end of the restaurant. Upstairs they serve Yaki Niku (traditional Japanese BBQ). The menu reflects the relaxed nature of izakaya-style eating, where it’s customary to order many small dishes and share them amongst friends.

The izakaya menu is always a great place to start your meal. Simple, well-priced dishes such as scalloped salmon cooked in sake or takoyaki (grilled octopus balls) are perfectly matched with a Sapporo on tap or sake. Take a peep at the daily specials menu as there are always new and interesting dishes. The salmon head cooked with a little salt and grilled is a local favourite. Chuji also offers a lunch menu with a variety of bento boxes.

What Izakaya Chuji lacks in sophistication it makes up for with an ample measure of charm and honest dishes. And of course once you've finished eating; next door, sister bar Nihonshu Shochu & Sake Bar will keep you going.

Updated: December 14th, 2020

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