Finally, Ottawa has gotten an authentic izakaya (Japanese style pub that serves small plates). Izakaya Shingen is a new izakaya on Bank Street that upon entering you feel like you are within Japan. The decor and menu are perfections offering true Japanese izakaya dishes, which are a prepared by a Japanese chef. As someone who used to live in Japan, I was thrilled to find the menu offered all the small sharing plates I missed.
An izakaya is a mix between a pub and a tapas restaurant, the idea is to have a casual setting to drink with friends and share some delicious small plates. Izakaya Shingen has a large menu offering yakitori (grilled meat sticks), nabe (hot pot), various raw fish dishes, chicken karage (fried chicken), and different types of rice bowls. To accompany the dishes there is also a large selection of sake, Japanese beers, and cocktails.
Yaki onigiri – grilled rice balls
Takoyaki – fried octopus balls
Agadashi tofu – deep-fried tofu in a dashi broth
Okonomiyaki – Hiroshima style pancake
If there is one Japanese restaurant you need to visit in 2018, it would be Izakaya Shingen as it offers perfectly prepared Japanese dishes that you can’t typically find at most of the Japanese restaurants in the Ottawa. As someone who ate tons of Okonomiyaki and takoyaki in Japan, I can say these dishes are as good as you can find in Japan. I’m thrilled by the opening of Izakaya Shingen to Ottawa’s culinary scene and eagerly await my next visit to this restaurant.