Venue: Note Bar, Westside 2, 20 Suffolk Street, B1 1LW; website
Choice: Takoyaki (or, octopus balls) (£5) Chooser: Chef, Philip Choi
The ever so superior Japanese equivalent of a bag of nuts, takoyaki is the bar snack of champions, consisting of little balls of octopussy joy, cradled in a light, super secret batter and cooked in a moulded pan. Having tried takoyaki at spots around Brum, Suffolk Street youngling, Note Bar, is the place to do it. Served with dried seaweed, bonito flakes and tonkatsu sauce — whether you favour the one or two bite approach, we'll leave to you. Offering the full compliment of izakaya-style munchies, the kitchen's fish is joyously fresh across the sashimi and sushi options we sampled, while the tempura is the right amount light and the right amount crispy. We were a bit confused by the layer of a substance which had the look and feel of American cheese, and appeared atop our otherwise delicious dragon roll, but the only significant draw back about Note Bar (which is as much a bar as it is a restaurant) was the lack of patrons. An issue of location, or perhaps marketing — it's not the food which is holding this place back. Menu (if you squint)
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