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  • Writer's pictureSarah Voon

Tsubohachi Izakaya @ Publika

Izakayas aren't really new to the Malaysian market but few really appreciate them. Japanese Izakaya culture is an entertainment form where people head to one of these watering holes to enjoy a drink (or two or three) after work with friends and colleagues. Food is not really prominent in the menu, which is primarily made up of alcoholic drinks.

At Izakayas, you'll find such a wide array of sakes and other alcoholic beverages that you might be overwhelmed with the choices. But a simple recommendation from the waitstaff will be sure to get you started on your Izakaya experience.

When Tsubohachi in Publika opened up, a few friends and I made a trip there to give it a try.

Its interior is so classically Japanese that you'll feel as though you've been transported to the Land of the Rising Sun.

We were served a pure sake presented in a shot glass, sitting inside a wooden box. The server pours it until the glass overflows and the liquid cascades into the small wooden box. This is equivalent to two shot glasses full in total. The drinker then lifts up the shot glass and enjoys his or her sake until it is finished, then pours the remainder from the wooden box into the glass.

We also had some sparkling soda water mixed with orange and lemon juices. Our Japanese Asahi beer was served at sub-zero temperatures as it was advised to us by our waiter that it is best to enjoy the beer at this temperature. But my favourite for the night was the peach blossom cider.

Because of the nature of the establishment, Izakayas serve a lot of beer food like fried chicken, fried shrimp and an assortment of fried dishes.

Barbecued skewers, or yakitori, is also popular beer food. You get to choose if you want your meat skewered served with teriyaki sauce or in salt.

What could be better than a hot plate full of minced meat and a poached egg?

Fish also seems to be the popular food to eat while drinking. It pairs well with all the drinks on the menu.

For those who are looking to unwind a little, they can enjoy a hearty broth.

And those who are really hungry can opt for the okonomiyaki.

The true star of the show, which kept us well amused for at least 10 minutes was the revolving water noodle thingy. According to the waiter, traditionally in Japan, they used bamboo and cold spring water to dip their noodles in and enjoyed its icy coldness even in the heart of winter! Brr...

We ended our meal on a cold note indeed with this shaved ice with green tea ice cream. A great experience overall - attentive service with great knowledge of the dishes, superb tasting dishes and a great ambience!

Tsubohachi Izakaya @ Publika

A2-UG1-9 Solaris Dutamas

#TsubohachiIzakaya #Publika

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