Palatable pot: Oyster soup cooked in Japanese style

With its jazzy design and mouthwatering selection of Japanese fish delicacies, Take Izakaya Restaurant serves as a welcome addition to Ha Noi's increasingly trendy Zone 9 complex. Nguyen Ha reports.

One pleasant autumn day, my friends from the northern province of Thai Nguyen came to visit me and asked to go somewhere special. We decided to go to a new Japanese restaurant, Take Izakaya.

My friends Be Hang and Thanh Binh were excited, as it was the first time either of them had set foot in a Japanese restaurant. When a server invited us to sit down, Hang demurred. She preferred to wander around the restaurant to admire the pictures that hung on the walls, which depicted Japanese women wearing traditional kimono and preparing tea.

While Hang enjoyed the art, Binh and I ordered appetizers. I chose salted green soybeans (VND44,000) and roasted gingko nuts (VND48,000). Hang wanted to try tuna steak and avocado salad, in which grilled tuna comes with a salad composed of tomatoes, lettuce, seaweed and fresh avocado dressed in a special sauce.

We quickly emptied the big bowl. Hang said she had never eaten such a tasty dish before.

Lean and green: Steamed salted soybeans.

After that, we ordered kawa ebi yaki or grilled prawn (VND139,000) and baked salmon (VND55,000). Although we were getting full, we couldn't resist a massive bowl of ebi tempura soba, hot soba noodles topped with crispy fried prawns (VND105,000).

Finally, we turned to dessert. The restaurant offers a variety of tropical fruits, but I chose green tea ice cream and Hang opted for yuzu sorbet (VND45,000). The slightly sour flavour isn't for everyone. Although I enjoyed it, Binh was not a fan.

Take Izakaya Restaurant

Add: Zone 9, 38 Nguyen Huy Tu Street, Hai Ba Trung Dist, Ha Noi

Tel/Fax: 04.39729438

Email: take.vn38@gmail.com

Hours: 9am-9pm

Price Range: VND200,000-250,000

Dishes to try: Tuna steak & avocado salad and Udon hotpot with prawn tempura.

Comment: Reasonable prices and very nicely decorated rooms.

Still, the delicious food and commendable service made our meal a pleasure. Both Hang and Binh said they planned to bring their parents, relatives and friends back to Take Izakaya.

The food isn't only good to eat, it's also safe. Many ingredients are imported from Japan. The organic vegetables come from a company called Tan Dat in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat.

"My relatives in Japan help us order the food and double-check it to make sure it's safe. No one has gotten food poisoning since we opened our restaurant last month," said Tran Cong Minh, restaurant manager.

Uemura Koji, the head chef, has cooked for Japanese ambassadors in Viet Nam in the last years and is also an owner of Ren Restaurant at 8A Hang Chao.

The restaurant is offering a promotion this month: VND375,000 for a 10-dish set. — VNS

 

All focused on food: A corner of the Take Izakaya Restaurant. — VNS Photos Ha Nguyen