Izakaya Jiro Grill & Sake Bar, Hawthorn

You may not know this but Hawthorn is fast becoming one of my favourite suburbs to try out new restaurants. I set my eyes on Izakaya Jiro a couple of weeks ago, and when we rocked up for the first time at 6pm without a booking we were told that there wasn't going to be any tables available until 9pm.

Having learnt my lesson, I booked a table for two for the weekend after. I initially booked for 7pm, but a staff member called me the next day to ask if I wanted to move my booking earlier as their seatings finish at 8.30pm. I thought that was a nice gesture, and so we moved our booking half an hour earlier. When that day arrived, I was on the verge of cancelling because I wasn't feeling very well at all. We ultimately decided to go ahead with it anyway, and I was glad I did.

We were seated quite promptly, but it took a long time for them to get our orders and serve the food. We noticed that this was the case for many other tables and the staff looked quite overwhelmed with all their tasks.

They have an extensive menu that includes appetisers, sushi, sashimi, skewers, noodles, other grilled dishes and plenty more. Designed to deliver meals tapas-style, most of the dishes are served small so that a variety can be ordered.

skewers okonomiyaki soft shell crab lotus root chips seaweed potato salad

From top to bottom, left to right, we had a chicken ball skewer, squid tentacles skewer, okonomiyaki, soft shell crab, lotus root chips, seaweed salad and potato salad. It was great to be able try a number of different dishes in small portions because it made us appreciate it more since there was so little of it.

I really enjoyed the lotus root chips, which were nicely seasoned and super crunchy. The soft shell crab was well fried and when I bit into it, the juices just spilt into my mouth. Heavenly. I thought the skewers were quite ordinary, as was the seaweed salad. I didn't try much of the okonomiyaki and potato salad because I felt they were a bit heavy since I was sick, but hubby really liked them and finished them in no time.

In the end we spent about $40 altogether including a mocktail and we left the restaurant pleasantly satisfied. I would definitely like to visit again, seeing as there are so many other things on the menu that I would love to try. I will also be checking out their saké list next time hopefully when I am in better shape!

Izakaya Jiro Grill & Sake Bar on Urbanspoon

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