IZAKAYA | ながほり (Nagahori)

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A great start to this Kansai trip. One-starred since 2010 and a rare breed being classified as a ‘izakaya’, Nakamura-san’s joint with 30 years’ of history, which he started back at a young age of 27, certainly lived up to its reputation. Went for an ‘Omakase’ with ‘sake’ pairing, first time I ever tried this in a ‘izakaya’ (they are more a kappo to me in fact), the ‘Master’, as he is called in the shop, really wowed me with most of the dishes. With a reputation of sourcing his ingredients directly from the farmers and sake from the brewers, he and his team’s cooking really tops it up and made it a great experience. Of special mention is the ‘kani miso croquette’ which really reminded me of the famous Cantonese dish of ‘stuffed crab shell’ and the sashimi platter with a quality of top sushi-ya’s standard. Equally impressive was how he could cater an izakaya menu for the portion of just one person, with each course made to order. I still ended up eating too much anyway as I couldn’t help to try out things that are of interest on the menu on top of all those he prepared for me. As for the sake pairing, I think the picture speaks for itself. Notice the special water from one of the sake brewers as well as the Isojiman which was said to be a PB. Took the chance to ask his opinion regarding Juyondai and his answer was ‘one glass is enough’!

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