Lunch Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm
Dinner Mon-Thu 5.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-midnight
Izakaya Den has all the hallmarks of an ideal Tinder venue: a tucked-away CBD location, flattering lighting, local wines and interesting cocktails. There are even barstools that fit two humans side by side with a seat at the bar primo, the tap-tap of knives a pleasant counterpoint to booming tunes. After eight years, the industrial décor could do with some refreshing, but the food is still sharp. Dishes are ideal for sharing, crisp leaves of fried kale, for instance, with golden toasted buckwheat and a dash of agedashi sauce. Thin pieces of tuna tataki are laid over two different condiments - wasabi tartare and garlic chilli - while fried chicken is juicy with subtle curry notes and a generous dollop of mayonnaise. The charcoal grill blisters a handful of shishito peppers, one in every few offering a bullet of heat. For dessert, squares of date-friendly ganache are hard to pass up, each sprinkled with matcha powder, say, or ground chilli. Take your pick.
Share plates $8-$26 D $8-$17