Izakaya feels like a small locals-only Japanese pub, but instead of being hidden down a back alley in Tokyo, it’s hidden on a sidestreet behind St Olavs plass in Oslo. Tucked into the ground floor of a non-descript residential building it doesn’t look like much, but inside is a cosy bar with a couple of communal tables and lots of Japanese kitsch.
The food is simple – a short menu of small dishes which changes regularly. Luckily my favourites, gyoza (dumplings) and chijimi (savoury pancakes), seem to be permanent. The food arrives as it is ready and the service is attentive but not over the top. I tend to wash it all down with some Asian beers, but Izakaya have a great selection of sakes and Japanese inspired cocktails/drinks which you won’t find elsewhere.
Go by yourself and sit at the bar or go with a gang, either way you’ll enjoy a proper little Japanese oasis in Oslo, and not a sushi roll in sight.