There was a small restaurant around the corner from our last apartment in Chicago, where we ate dinner about 2 times a month, called Wakamono. It was our “spot” for good asian fusion food, just like Sable was our “spot” for cocktails. Leaning towards Japanese cuisine, they also served some great fusion small plates, like Tempura Corn with Aioli, and Sea Scallops baked in a shell with a lemon mayo. I knew that finding something similar in Antigua would be tough, so imagine my surprise when we wandered into Izakaya, looking for dinner one day shortly after we moved here.
Izakaya does so many things right; their simple approach to their ingredients allows the food to shine (you won’t find any mediocre ingredients hiding under heavy sauces). Their Miso Glazed Eggplant is really something; you could put that miso glaze on a shoe and I would be tempted to eat it. Their menu is designed to be shared, with only small plates, which is how we love to eat to anyways in order maximize the items we can try.
If you like Sake (I don’t) , they have a couple of good choices
Every meal starts with a complimentary amuse bouche, and it’s different every time we go. This last time, it was Taro Chips with a Wasabi Mayo
If you’re not sure what to order; ask the waitress for her recommendations. She (refreshingly) won’t respond with the annoying “everything is good”- the wait staff is much better trained than I’ve experienced at other Antigua restaurants.
We always start with the Miso Glazed Eggplant. They’ll give you a tiny ceramic spoon to scoop out the inside, but I love the charred, crispy skin too.
The vegetable tempura is great (pictured below), and I also love the Fish Tiradito
Be sure to order any (or all) of the fish dishes here (last time we got the Miso Glazed Seabass, pictured below, and their special, which was Seabass in a sauce made with local chiles). The fish is always cooked perfectly- something most restaurants usually manage to screw up.
Expect to pay about Q150-200 per person. Expensive for Antigua, but a bargain for what you’re getting (great service, a perfect ambiance, and expertly prepared food that’s simple but full of flavor).
Don’t waste your money or appetite anywhere else; this is the place to go!