Kirazu has very discreetly tucked itself on Rupert Street, still remains almost a secret even on a street that can be rather busy. As you enter, you will be greeted with a counter packed with all sorts of interesting Japanese tapas but for some reason, none of us noticed it when we entered. We just somehow walked pass it. I do recommend you having a browse at these selections as they do look pretty tempting.
Right in front of the counter are two long wooden tables where we sat next to strangers who seemed repose even on a mid week night. Maybe it is the vibe of the small and cosy space that exudes calm.
What I like most about this little restaurant is its almost east end décor of bare hanging light bulbs and old wooden crates on the wall sat on steel hooks.
We ordered quite a few little plates but did not order rice or anything substantial to go with them so I would advice ordering some ramen or rice to go with your tapas as a filler. The agedashi tofu had crispy skin and very soft wobbly inside. It was tasty with its umami sauce. The takoyaki too was really good with tender pieces of octopus and gooey filling.
Salmon sashimi; Grilled eel and cucumber with Japanese vinaigrette
I love unagi so this grilled eel and cucumber salad with seaweed was something I appreciated. It was more refreshing than the usual unagi as they have added cucumber and vinaigrette to it. As for the sashimi, it was nice and fresh.
Grille aubergine with sweet miso paste; Choi-yaki mentaiko (speared spicy cod roe)
The seared spicy cod roe was rather salty and spicy, almost like little caviars. I can see how some people might not like it but I find it interesting especially eaten with something else like rice or congee so it does not taste as strong. The grilled aubergine on the other had was nice but was not fantastic.
Overall, it is a lovely little intimate restaurant serving decent food but not one that will blow your mind away. It is worth visiting though, if you would like to have some sake with light food to go with it.