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At Iiza, dozens of oversized bottles of Japanese liquors line the walls, harking back to a tradition where regular patrons can leave their half-full bottles tagged for their next visit. Appropriately, there’s a decent drinks list to choose from, with sake, shochu, Japanese beers and a sweet plum liqueur. The menu explains that izakaya dining is about a variety of dishes designed to share, and if that doesn't sound familiar enough, they've grouped these dishes under the 'tapas' heading, which is pretty much the generic term for share-plates these days.

The tuna sashimi tacos are a signature dish; the combination of fried wontons, salsa and sashimi are strange in texture, but also strangely pleasing. Beetroot salad is a floaty, pretty mix, which sits atop a tasty sesame dressing. There are mains such as teriyaki duck and karage soft shell crab and, of course, offerings of sashimi and sushi, so the options have more variation and inventiveness than your typical sushi train. The desserts are interesting as well, with tofu cheesecake and kokutou brulee both offering a satisfying “sayonara”.

Iiza is best for intimate or small group gatherings, but fills quickly – a confirmation of its appeal.

Updated: March 14th, 2018

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