More Ikazaya food in Kobe, Japan

Octopus three ways

Trip Taken: 2007

If you weren’t convinced to try ikazaya food from my previous post, then here is another post to try to sway you to put it on your itinerary when you visit Japan.

After a day of sightseeing, I met my friend Jason, who was teaching in Japan, and his Japanese friend in Kobe for dinner. I left all the dinner plans to them and allowed them to show me what culinary delights Kobe had to offer. We went to restaurant area and headed upstairs to a relaxed bar. They ordered everything while I sat there for the epicurean treats.

Octopus Three Ways

The three types of octopus were spicy raw octopus, raw octopus with wasabi, and raw octopus with miso. The octopus was a slimy texture, but in a good way. It wasn’t like the octopus was covered in goo. The miso and spicy octopus were okay, but it was the wasabi octopus that really stood out. The wasabi accentuated the briny taste of the octopus and toned down the saltiness of the dish.

Fried Skewers

We split the different skewers. There were some cheese skewers, chicken skewers, and shrimp skewers. My favorite was the cheese skewer. It tasted like a croquette and the cheese oozed out.

Chicken Skin Skewer

Beside the octopus dish, this chicken skin skewer might freak some people out. But looking at the the chicken skin as crispy bits of chicken makes it easier to eat. Fried chicken skin is one of the best parts of friend chicken, so why not but it on a skewer and eat it in a larger quantity.

Fried Chicken

The fried chicken dish was the last dish and a hearty way to end the meal. It is actually a very clean dish without the a very greasy after taste. We finished it quickly before the crispiness of the batter was drowned out by the lemon juice we squeezed on the dish.


After our meal of bar food, we headed toward a small cafe through alleys filled with food stands. I was especially struck by some of the good deals. There was one takoyaki stall that sold a set of five for 110 yen that really stood out. I kept that stall in my mind. We went to a small European style cafe that sold French and Italian desserts. I ended up having creme brulee a la mode. It was a great way to end a fine dining night and we chatted until the tealight candle on our table burned low.

Parting Words

Ikazaya food can be compared to tapas or dim sum. But eating and drinking with your friends is not as boisterous as it is in the US or Europe. It feels relaxed and easy. As a side note, street food is always a cheap alternative. The takoyaki for 110 yen was fairly filling and quite good. Even if you don’t have a local to show you around, I’m sure the front desk of your lodging is more than happy to share places for good ikazaya and dessert.

Picture Gallery

Related Posts

About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.