Ikudon is a good choice when you’re looking for a nice yakiniku restaurant (Self-BBQ). It’s reasonable, casual and has a relaxing atmosphere, just like you’re visiting your friend’s house. How can they make you feel that way? Because, the people who work here are all high school buddies and their family members!
Artisan Spirit (Shokunin-kishitsu 職人気質)
Generally speaking, most Japanese people have great pride in their work. People call this pride for one’s work shokunin-kishitsu, or "artisan spirit". They do their job conscientiously and make efforts to improve the quality. You can see that spirit in any field of work here. I think Ikudon is a good example of that. First, they serve high quality meat and vegetables. Also, in the restaurant business in Japan, attentive hospitality is a part of the quality and it’s a natural thing to do for them—not for a tip. Maybe you already know, there is no custom of tipping in Japan. People serve from the heart!
Let me tell you about a conversation I had with the owner of this restaurant. She put a plate of cabbage on my table (that I had not ordered), and said: "This is free. Enjoy!" I replied: "Are you serious? Thank you. It's so fresh!" She said: "I want to make sure of our quality, so I go to market every day to get just-harvested cabbage. I like to serve good cabbage, even though we don't charge customers for it". What nice hospitality!
In addition, soup and oo-long-tea are also free. There are healthy reasons for these free items: Soup coats your stomach; Cabbage assists digestion; Oo-long-tea helps eliminate the excess oils from your body.
Perhaps you have never been to a yakiniku restaurant, so let me explain how it works. First, they will bring to your table a shichirin (七輪)―a small sized clay cooking grill― with charcoal burning in it. You order your meat, vegetables, potatos, and so on. Then you cook on the shichirin at your own pace. The meat is slightly seasoned with home-made sauce, but you can add some flavorful sauce or spicy soy bean-paste. My favorite sauce is shiodare (塩だれ)―salt-base, with garlic and some secret ingredients. It’s good with meat and vegetables. Each portion is not big, so you can try a variety of plates. Sometimes I try the same meat with different sauce or spices, or sometimes I try different types of meat. There is no rule, so you can enjoy the BBQ however you want!
Besides BBQ, they have a variety of foods, for example, tofu with onion, edamame (green beans still in the pod), home-made pickles, soup rice & etc.
For dessert, they have ice cream.
The serve beer, sake (rice wine), shouchu (spirits made from barley or sweet- potato) wine, whisky
They serve Boilermakers, Submarine, Cassis soda, Whisky with Soda, and others.
If you want something not on the menu (an English menu is available) or your own style mixed drink, you can ask them, and they will be happy to help you.
Finally, I recommend making a reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write in English. The owner of this restaurant speaks English.
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