It was a grey rainy afternoon. The day after my 23rd birthday, so naturally I was severely hungover. My hangover-cravings were whispering the word ‘ramen’ over and over in my head. So off we headed to Nippon Izakaya in North Finchley. Little did I know that I would be indulging in the best hungover meal that I have EVER had.
We had been to Nippon Izakaya once before, a year or so ago, and as soon as you enter, you know that this is the real deal: a charming faux cherry blossom tree sits in the corner of the restaurant and there’s a whole display of mouth-watering sashimi by the cash register.
We wanted to try as much of the very extensive menu as possible and didn’t want to commit ourselves to one dish each so we ended up sharing the following (and boy, did we demolish everything):
- Chikuwa cheese tempura
- Beef curry ramen
- Soft shell crab temaki x2
- Phoenix roll (prawn kastu, avocado, cucumber)
So the beef curry ramen needs a special mention because it was the perfect balance of the fillingness of the noodles with the flavoursome-ness of the broth (which wasn’t spicy at all). It truly was comfort food at its finest; there’s just something about slurping down hot ramen while it’s cold and stormy outside…
This was also the first time I have ever tried chikuwa cheese tempura and it was basically a deep fried fishcake-like thing with melted cheese inside (A.K.A. my heaven). My mouth is salivating as I write this. The phoenix sushi roll was made up of prawn katsu, avocado and cucumber and served as a refreshing light snack break in between bites of the rest of our sexy deep-fried meal.
Nippon Izakaya may not be very well known but if you’re ever in North London, I would highly recommend that you head over, either for a snack or for an all-out meal. After lockdown ends and once everything settles down and returns somewhat back to normalcy, I think I’m going to be heading back here asap for some 10/10 Japanese food.