(No Ordinary Chicken Shack)
1. Why did you decide to start your own izakaya?
I’ve worked in a variety of fields throughout life, yet I remember being most happy when I worked at a cafe. Because of that experience, and the people I met doing that work, I thought, one day, I’d love to have my own restaurant… a place where I could really enjoy working day in and day out.
2. Why did you choose to base your restaurant in Kyoto?
I wanted to have a laid-back style of working, a place I could run completely on my own, and not be on a busy street. I envisioned an izakaya that was hidden at the deep end of an alley, and I got really lucky to find a restaurant space just like that. I figured this kind of ambience I was seeking could be achieved in Kyoto, and also because Kyoto has more business opportunities than where I’m from in Shiga, so that’s largely why I chose Kyoto.
3. Your menu choices are unique and deliberate, what inspired those choices?
I decided to focus on yakitori simply because I love yakitori! I wanted to serve the kind of food I personally enjoy, and enjoy preparing for others. Yakitori fit that bill, and I wanted to serve it in an elegant way. Who knows, though… I may change the menu as I go!
4. What aspect of your work do you enjoy most?
I naturally love cooking and the joy of making and creating overall. I have a good time interacting with customers as well… sometimes I get to enjoy a drink with my customers, and seeing them come back regularly makes me happy and this job very rewarding.
5. Local food is featured prominently on your menu, why did you decide to keep things focused on Shiga prefectural dining?
In order to distinguish my place from other competitors in Kyoto, I figured I should endorse my home prefecture, Shiga. Sometimes when you live in a place for a long time, you overlook certain things that make it unique. Things become too familiar. But when I began thinking through my menu, and how I wanted to run the restaurant, I thought about Shiga. Doing so opened my eyes to what I had forgotten, and I was able to recognize praise-worthy ingredients from my home prefecture. So, I try to find and get ingredients from there as much as I can when I need something.