It’s becoming hard to keep track of all the happenings going on in Hamilton. There’s not one new restaurant that I don’t want to try and countless restaurants that have stood the test of time that I will return to again and again. Brandon Jackson and Chef Matt Pigion really tapped into Hamilton’s current vibe when they opened Bar Izakaya. Let’s just say they're the new cool kids on the block.
"Opening Bar Izakaya was the next natural step," says Brandon. Perhaps, you are familiar with their two stalls found in the Hamilton Farmers' Market, Eat Ramen and Eat Industries. This latest endeavor takes elements from a traditional Izakaya bar (the Japanese version of a pub) and turns the concept on its head with a Canadian flare.
We couldn't resist beginning our meal with a drink in hand. We recommend the Plum Negroni or the Pineapple Express, but if a cocktail isn't your go-to, they make wonderful iced-teas in an array of flavours. The menu consists of both small and medium plates and house boards for the sharing – or for the hungry. We devoured a plate of Karaage, a buttermilk and soy fried chicken, served with a yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit) and chili-ginger aioli. One of my other favourite dishes was the burnt Ontario black plums with shaved yuzu ice. It's refreshing, balanced and the perfect end to a delicious meal.
We can’t guarantee you’ll find these items on the menu, though. The menu changes often according to seasonal ingredients and new culinary ventures. What you can expect are spins on classic cocktails, hip-hop beats and fresh, bright flavours.
Bar Izakaya is located in the vibrant James St N. neighbourhood. Follow their Instagram page to find out when they will be throwing their grand opening bash!