17 Feb 2014 • 98 reviews • 120 followers
My visit to Nanbantei all started when I brought my dining partner to Kazu for a meal. Not too impressed, he said "Nanbantei is better." Fast forward many months, we found ourselves with a dinner reservation at this place and yes, Nanbantei is better.
Reservations are a must at this cosy joint, and expect service to be efficient. Groups of three or less will be given counter seats with a great view of the grill, which is great if you need inspiration on what to order, not so much if you were intending to walk out smelling shower-fresh.
While waiting for your items to be cooked, you'll be served some raw vegetable sticks with salt and miso -- a perfect, rereshing side to the buffet of grilled food you'll be having. Of the many sticks of yakitori we ordered, our favourites were:
- Pork with Asparagus: thinly sliced pork wrapped around crisp asparagus spears
- Pork with Okura: thinly sliced pork wrapped around juicy ladyfingers
- Ox Tongue: gamy, chewy and flavourful
- Beef with Miso: a beautiful shade of pink inside by default
- Sweet Corn: WHY SO SWEET.
All items were well-salted and seasoned, grilled for just the right duration with a well-developed smokey flavour -- not a meal you could recreate at home just because you have the necessary ingredients.
On the side, we also got ourselves some garlic rice and potato salad - both not mindblowing (will any version ever be?) but extremely comforting and well-executed.
It was a great meal, and we'll be back for more. Perhaps for some chicken heart, lamb chops and avocado tempura?