Ozu, Shikoku, 9PM on a Saturday night. A green cotton fabric outside the door of a small shack and a Japanese paper lantern. We get in. Smoke. Friends having beers and yakitoris at a low table, seated on a tatami mat. A woman eating skewers at the counter. The cook nonchalantly smoking his cigarette behind it.
We sign it’s for two, and we take our shoes off and sit on the mat.
The menu is in Japanese, a language we speak as much as the cook speaks English: not at all! No problem, we can sign further and point at what the locals share to end up with beers, chicken skewers and grilled salmon with a delicious sauce and a bit of salad.
A yakitori-ya is a low key restaurant where charcoal-grilled meat, fish and vegetables on skewers are shared around a beer or a cold or hot sake. Japanese get in to grab a bite around the counter, and not really to enjoy it as a full meal.
Claire & Marcella
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