In my family, celebrating, departures, and arrivals means eating a meal out. My stepfather was leaving to return to Myanmar in a couple of days, so we had a non-stop eating marathon for about a week. Kashiwa Yakiniku had been recommended to me by a Japanese friend, as an authentic Japanese BBQ that served torisashi (raw chicken), and other unusual cuts of meat.
My family and I came here on a Wednesday evening around 7pm, half an hour late for our reservation. All the tables were full, with some space at the end of one table, and I wondered where we would be seated. The waiters were rushing around with harried, worn out expressions and I stood there for a few minutes conspicuously in the middle of the restaurant while the staff pointedly avoided eye contact with me and brushed past like I was invisible. It took a few minutes until a member of staff came over and asked if we had a reservation. When I said we did, he showed us to the end of the table that a group of people were currently sitting at. My mother gave me a look of irritation, as we squashed ourselves in amongst strangers.
The night wasn’t off to a good start. We sat there for another few minutes before I had to request copies of the menu from one of the waiters. After a few minutes, I decided to order a bunch of stuff, including seafood for my brother.
Mostly everything was served quickly, except for the vegetables, which, strangely, were served last, when we were nearly full.
The dishes at Kashiwa were modestly priced (around $10 to $15) for platters of meats and seafood. The real novelty of Kashiwa is their provision of more uncommon cuts of meat that you wouldn’t find at many other BBQ restaurants. That night, pig’s trotter (precooked) and pork intestine (raw) were some of the unusual cuts of meat that we enjoyed.
The pig’s trotter was served with a chili sauce with sesame seeds. The pig’s feet alone were quite bland in taste, and I didn’t like the texture of the skin at all. I ate one before abandoning the dish to be eaten by my mother and stepfather.
The beef yukke was one of the premade dishes we ordered that night. The raw beef was cut into thin strips, and topped with sesame seeds, shallots, and raw egg yolk. The beef tasted fresh, but the texture could have been said to be a little slimy once mixed up with the raw egg, but was delicious nonetheless.
The ambience at Kashiwa was not to our liking. It was smoky, noisy, and so cramped that we had to tuck ourselves in to our table uncomfortably for fear of getting buffeted. The staff looked overworked and slightly irritated whenever we called them over. All in all, good value, as we ate a lot, and the bill only came to $155, but not an overly pleasant dining experience. I would only really recommend this place if you have a hankering for something like pork intestines- this is the place to get it.