Central, News, Reviews

Machiya + ‘Downstairs at Machiya’

From the guys behind Kanada-Ya comes Machiya, just a couple of doors down on Panton Street.

Machiya are traditional wooden houses in Japan and the restaurant had a similar, more contemporary vibe with clean lines and plenty of wooden features. Food is served as and when it’s ready and mainly designed to share.

We started with delicious chicken tsukune – minced chicken balls served on skewers with a golden Burford brown egg yolk for dipping. Priced at just £4, you get two skewers which we felt was really good value.

Other highlights included the must-order wagyu-katsu. Slices of raw panko crusted wagyu beef is served at the table, along with a hot plate, fat and dips for you to cook yourself. Easy to master, it only needs a few seconds on each side and was really tender. We could not get enough of that wasabi mayo.

Keep your eyes peeled for the daily special – whilst we were there it was battered king prawns, served head on with yet more moreish dip.

We were keen to try their rainbow cake but alas – they’d sold out. The matcha fondant didn’t disappoint though – with a strong tea flavour, it had the ooziest middle we ever did see. YUM!

But the night doesn’t have to end there. Oh no, whilst the restaurant serves a strong selection of sake, wine and Japanese teas, you’ll find a special little cocktail bar downstairs.

‘Downstairs at Machiya’ also serves bar snacks – wagyu sliders, lotus root chips, fiery Machiya hot wings) so you can bypass dinner altogether or start your evening there. We fancied a night cap so headed down after dinner to sample some of their unique cocktails. With names with Jigglypuff (portobello gin, campari, lemon, vermouth foam) and Kawaii Ne (meaning Cute) you may struggle to keep a straight face. Priced from £7, expect Japanese flourishes such as yuzu foam and tea infusions, as well an extensive Japanese whisky menu.


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