Castle Street has undergone some thing of a renaissance as of late.
Late night eateries, craft cocktails and unlimited pizza by the slice – life isn’t bad on Castle Street. As Bold Street fills to the brim, Castle Street has offered somewhat of a respite for the good people of Liverpool and has become very quickly a foodie quarter. On the same street you can find pre-packaged California rolls and suspiciously bright-red tuna rolls made with sickly sweet grainy rice in most supermarkets, but their resemblance to the real thing seems, at times, to only be in name. Enter Izakaya – a place cooking up a sushi storm with a Scouse twist.
An Izakya is a type of informal Japanese gastropub. They are casual places for after-work drinking. They have been compared to Irish pubs and early American saloons and taverns. Sushi isn’t anything new, in fact the history of it dates back to the 8th century. The original type of sushi was first developed in Southeast Asia as a means of preserving fish in fermented rice. In the Muromachi period, people began to eat the rice as well as the fish. Despite its history, never has sushi been so popular. Real sushi isn’t just food; it’s an art form. Watching the masters at work is part of the experience. The attention to detail and the respect to the produce is like no other food in the world. At times it has felt there was no need for another sushi place due to the absolutely majestic flair from Sapporo or the grace in which Etsu effortlessly serves its food. But this isn’t treading on their toes nor is it muddying their rice, Izakaya promises to offer something completely new.
Whilst Izakaya doesn’t open until 1st December, the balls are certainly in motion and although the roof is bare and the walls have been stripped, it isn’t hard to envisage what the guys and girls behind Izakaya are trying to create. During the day it will have a deli feel to it. The bustling lunch time trade will be pre-made that morning with the freshest of fish that comes in daily. Another thing we are very excited about is the “build your own bento box” where you get to decide what you want from the vegetable tempura to the meat in your gyoza. A heavenly box created right in front of you. And that’s the point. There’s a perfect mix of humbleness and pride about the Japanese way of life where the boundary between sushi master and customer is often lost. Izakaya will be bright and bold with hardly any hidden spaces. They want their talented chefs to take centre stage to add to the atmosphere.
As day turns into night, a whole new world shall reveal itself. The hustle and bustle of the lunch time trade is lost and what takes its place is an intimate affair. Eating all that delicious sushi and chowing down on all that delicious food can be thirsty work so they’re working with some of the best cocktail makers and shakers to sling drinks that’ll compliment all your dishes. There’s even a special wine list to go with each dish which is certainly unusual but we’re all for it. Most Japanese dishes, like a ramen, carry a certain complexity and it was hard for the guys and girls to find the perfect wine for each dish but after many bottles and many nights drinking, they got there. Just goes to show where perseverance can get you.
Good luck Izakaya gang, save us a duck gyoza on your opening.
Address: 6 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 4XE