Dinner daily 5pm-10pm
There's a sense of mystery to Etsu Izakaya. A barn door devoid of signage is all that can be seen from the road, but slide it open and an Aladdin's cave awaits. The long, dimly lit space is moody, almost whimsical, featuring floor-to-ceiling Japanese-inspired murals, a curved timber wall blending into the ceiling and an intriguing, bare tree surrounded by one of the large timber tables. Warm and polite staff make diners feel at home before explaining the sharing menu, where salmon usuzukuri shines with a balanced, vinegar-spiked dressing, overshadowed only by buta no kakuni - meltingly tender pork belly with crisp crackling. A robata grill delivers medium-rare lamb cutlets humming with gochujang, while the dessert menu inspires with a creamy, nutty black sesame panna cotta. The wine list is well conceived, but the Japanese beers on tap are more appealing. Umeshu, shochu, Japanese whisky and sake satisfy the adventurous.
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