En Japanese is a rather charming Japanese izakaya bar located on Goodwood Road. There aren’t many places for izakaya style dining in Adelaide so owners Chong and Tanase thought it was a good time to start one.
The front of the restaurant is a mix of high tables and bar stools alongside normal tables with red velvet cushion chairs. It may be deceivingly quiet at the front but wait till you step into the back section, past the hanging Sapporo long lanterns. That is where the life is, what izakaya bar dining is all about. Behind the bar you will find a big range of saké, shoju and Japanese beers. They will be more than happy to help you navigate through the drinks menu. As for the food, there’s a big focus on tapas and bar snacks. Perfect for after work drinks or catching up with friends. Sit yourself at the bar for an even better izakaya experience!
We ordered a few tapas items, the choices probably too obvious but they were our favourites after all. Every now and then I fancy some Agedashi Tofu. It’s such a clean tasting dish despite being deep fried silken tofu. I just love the texture and flavour of fresh tofu in that delicious soy broth. Yakitori was a must and theirs was perfectly grilled with a well balanced traditional sauce. Simple yet many cannot master it.
Mr Foodie 100% always orders Karaage every time it’s on the menu. Who doesn’t love fried chicken anyway. Japanese karaage is extra tasty because the meat has been marinated in soy and sake before coating and deep frying. It’s so crunchy on the outside. The chicken itself retains moisture and has good flavour from the marinade. To top it off there’s Japanese mayo to dip it in. We all know Japanese mayo is the best mayo in the world.
I opted for a plate of Chashu as well. Something you often find in a bowl of ramen. The Japanese chashu is very tender and flavoursome again because of the marinade. The pork belly is then rolled and slow cooked to achieve the tender meat and melt-in-your-mouth fat. To finish off we had some Gesokara. Moreish. All the snacks are very moreish to be honest. It’s dangerous going on an empty stomach but they accompany a drink very well. The deep fried salt and pepper squid tentacles are seasoned a little differently to the Chinese ones but oh so delicious. I think the tentacles went a bit too rubbery, perhaps overcooked but the seasoning is great.
If you’re visiting for the first time I’d recommend coming in a group and just graze your way through the night. It’s the best way to try a place like this out. Other favourites of edamame, takoyaki, gyoza, croquette, teriyaki chicken, salmon and tempura are also on the menu.
We came for a late night feed and left incredibly satisfied. I think this place is highly underrated and deserves more attention but then again, perhaps the locals are trying to keep this delicious secret to themselves.
En Japanese Bar & Restaurant
107 Goodwood Road
08 8271 6954