Lynette and I were jonesing for some Sake after mulling over Japanese cuisine during one of our many random but scintillating conversations. We settled on Yamasen Restaurant in her neck of the woods. It’s one of those please make a reservation type places which I don’t mind, I like planning ahead. Unfortunately we couldn’t go that day as they are closed Tuesdays, crestfallen, we kept it moving. A little while later, one unremarkable Thursday, off we went. I arrived first. The building housing Yamasen also has Endiro coffee on the right. It’s a beautiful large wooden structure with all these lights at night that really are a vision! I got inside and was seated by a very friendly gentleman. Our waitress that night Goret, lovely lady, came through with a nice warm towel and took my drinks order. Lynette arrived just as I was being served my starter of Pickled Daikon, hadn’t had it before, tastes just like cabbage.

Good and settled, we ordered our sake. We selected our little sake cups with beautiful designs from a selection Goret brought over and went about wetting our whistles. I’d had sake only once before at Yujos. For those of you who’ve never had sake, it’s essentially fermented rice wine. milder than most wines, I like it immensely.

The first carafe went down a treat and really fast so naturally second one was in order, as the evening went on, the host, a Japanese lady, came and asked us how our evening was going, pretty well by the way. She then asked us if we’d like to try some Umeshu, a Japanese plum wine……yes! This stuff is delicious and smells so good; this is the kind of drink you’d get super wasted on. On account of how great it tastes. Have you had Apple sour shooters before? That’s what it smells and tastes like but so much better!

Jamal joined us as we finished our sake so we grabbed dinner. We all had a chicken dish with sweet potato fries, an assortment of beans and a herbal salad. It was a good meal, tasted very healthy as well, that herbal salad of coriander, red basil, mint, parsley, dill and onions, a first for me, was a revelation. I imagine if I ate like this daily I’d have Bruce Lees’ fat content, absolutely none! It’s a great way to eat.

Yamasen is a beautiful restaurant and bar with great food&sake, friendly & attentive staff, clean toilets, all of which made for a great dining experience. I’ll be doing this again for sure.