Kushi Mura Izakaya review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
In Japan, there is a type of restaurant called an izakaya. It is a casual place where many people go to either eat or have a drink after a long day of work—it is like a restaurant with the atmosphere of a bar. They offer many appetizers including yakitori and karaage, and many of them are conveniently located near or under train stations. More stores and restaurants have been put near the New Westminster station, and one of them which opened a few months ago is a new izakaya called Kushi Mura Izakaya.
Recently, many ads and banners were put around the area to promote the many things that the izakaya offers. The inside of the restaurant looks like the living room of a house in Japan due to the shelves and the cherry blossom tree in the middle of the restaurant. Tables don’t have the container of sauce that you dip yakitori in (make sure not to double-dip!) which is usually in this type of restaurant, so it would be nice if they provided that to make the izakaya more authentic.
The menu is vast, with many classic options (prepared homestyle) usually found in a Japanese restaurant. Some of these items included tonkatsu, donburi, ramen, yakitori, and sushi. One of the special options available is the chicken bite cheese melts, which are pieces of chicken filled with cheese—it is also available with the cheese on top.
I had their Chicken Karaage with their Beef Teriyaki Skewer. The karaage dish came with a chipotle sauce on the side, and the texture of the chicken had a very crispy appearance. The chicken was flavourful and tasted as if it was made in a restaurant in Japan, and the chipotle sauce made it even spicier. The beef skewer was barbecued and drizzled with teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, and green onions. The skewer would be even more delicious if the meat were juicer and seasoned more.
During the day, they have a happy hour at lunch and dinner. During the lunchtime happy hour the restaurant serves ramen combos, and during the dinnertime happy hour they serve chicken dishes and appetizers with beer. The restaurant also has a lot of space that can be used for parties, and the atmosphere makes the establishment makes you feel cozy with because of its homey vibe.
During the summertime, patios are set up outside so you can have great conversations with your meal in the warm weather. While Kushi Mura Izakaya may not be exactly like an izakaya, it has the essence of one and is conveniently located for students who have had a long day at the New West campus.