Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Shanghai] Kota’s Kitchen

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Kota’s Kitchen

Add: 2905 Xietu Lu, near Lingling Lu 斜土路2905号, 近零陵路
Tel: 6481 2005
Hours: 6pm-1am
Price: 150~200 RMB/person
Visited: Dec 2011

There’s a warm buzz at Kota’s Kitchen that makes you feel you’ve come to the right place. This intimate, perpetually packed Japanese yakitori shochu bar has all the right elements – skewered items grilled to perfection over Japanese charcoal, supremely gratifying fried chicken, fried potatoes, fried anything, and Beatles posters all over its walls and classic tunes of “Love Me Do” and “Yellow Submarine” in the background. My favorite yakitori place in town, hands down.

A meal at Kota’s always starts with a plate of freshly sliced carrots, cucumbers, and daikons with accompanying mayonnaise and a mildly spicy sauce. This is probably going to be the healthiest plate you’ll see all evening.

Let’s start with the skewered items. Our favorite was the tender, luscious chicken meatball (20 RMB/skewer) with quail eggs. I personally also really loved the grilled camembert cheese (30 RMB/skewer) drizzled with balsamic vinegar and beef short ribs (35 RMB/skewer), but really, everything else we ordered – chicken liver (15 RMB/skewer), chicken thigh (15 RMB/skewer), beef tongue (20 RMB/skewer) – were delicious.

Beef short ribs (35 RMB/skewer).

Grilled camembert (30 RMB/skewer).

Chicken liver (15 RMB/skewer).

Chicken thigh (15 RMB/skewer).

Beef tongue (20 RMB/skewer).

And all goes down better with a jug of beer. もう一杯お願いします! But somehow I forgot to try the shochu at this shochu bar…just another good reason to visit again, very soon.

Among the non-skewered items, we tried the fried chicken (30 RMB) and broiled mackerel (35 RMB), both very popular choices at Kota’s.

For the broiled mackerel, slices of raw fish (salted and marinated in vinegar) are broiled with a torch at the table. Fancy.

Here’s a list of “today’s recommendations”.

Spicy cod roe fried potato (40 RMB) was a rich, creamy medley of potatoes, mushrooms, bacon, all smothered in a cod roe white sauce. You know this is bad for you, but you can’t help but put one piece after another into your mouth.

We also tried the scallop carpaccio (45 RMB), probably the most refreshing dish we had all evening, though other than that it wasn’t very memorable.

A meal never feels complete without a sweet ending, so we proceeded to order both desserts on the menu, a homemade custard pudding (30 RMB) and a skewer of roasted marshmallow with ice-cream (25 RMB). Not too bad.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Kota’s Kitchen and its comforting dishes. Here’s a list of things to try on my next visit: grilled avocado, tandoori chicken, beef sashimi, pork bone ramen, braised pork belly, hot spring egg croquette, sumo wrestler’s stew…and the list goes on, and on, and on.

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 5th, 2011 at 8:31 pm