A privacy curtain separates the counter dining area from the booths outside (Photo: Bonson Lam)

Nayanosumi Restaurant Takamatsu

An inexpensive yet stylish izakaya style restaurant

A privacy curtain separates the counter dining area from the booths outside (Photo: Bonson Lam)
Bonson Lam   - 3 min read

Do you want to try izakaya style snacks and small dishes without the noise more commonly associated with these casual eateries?

Nayanosumi has it all: mood lighting, an upmarket atmosphere with piped jazz piano music and helpful staff, all in an intimate venue with less than 20 tables, in 3 separate zones including Japanese and Western style seating.

In many ways this place is the budget diner’s dream come true. It serves delicious mainstream Japanese fare, a smattering of local delicacies, but nothing so weird to scare the timid diner. There is a small picture menu in English and Japanese, with a good balance in the number of selections. There aren’t too many dishes to overwhelm you (think about the times when you go to a Chinese restaurant with over 100 selections), but enough to cover various tastes, such as Japanese duck stew, avocado tempura, French Fries and freshly made home tofu. Many dishes are around the 500 yen to 1000 yen mark and have smaller servings, allowing even solo diners to have a selection of dishes, while a larger group can have a mini banquet by ordering half the menu.

Like many modern izakayas, it features both Western and Japanese dishes, from home made Frankfurters, Tuna Tartare and Spanish Mackerel grilled with miso, a local Sanuki speciality.

My dinner started with a small appetiser, a trio of crispy prawns, pickled octopus and gobo burdock served in 3 separate compartments, and all served at room temperature. The burdock is crunchy and sweet, beautifully seasoned with a sesame seeds and oil dressing that brings out a chilli like flavour. The octopus with wasabi and pickled cucumber on the other hand had the right amount of chewiness and bite. Deep fried mini prawns were smoky and had a crispy head and tail, but the body was neither crispy nor tender. It was finger licking tasty though. I then ordered a grilled rice ball or onigiri which had a crispy crust but not as much grilled soy flavour but you can dip it in the shredded seaweed and bonito flakes. I would not order it again next time.

On the other hand, the pickled eggplant and the grilled chicken leg were amazing. The latter was marinated with a sesame and soy base and drizzled with lemon juice. It was amazingly tender and the natural chicken juices made it a divine meal.

There is a great selection of local and national beer and sake, and its location between the train station, ferry terminal and the tram stop makes it easy to get home even after a big meal. Of course, if you miss the last train or ferry, the inexpensive Takamatsu Station Hotel on the same block means that you are not too much out of pocket.

Bonson Lam

Bonson Lam @bonson.lam

I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric laneways of Kyoto last century.  I am humbled to have met many distinguished people during this time, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperia...