A down-to-earth atmosphere, exuberant staff and a solid menu of tasty fusion maki rolls.
Enter through a kitschy corridor of red lanterns and bold Japanese prints, and you’ll be greeted by an enthusiastic team of chefs and servers. Once you’ve taken a seat in one of the private dining booths, cold Asahi in hand, you can peruse the extensive menu, ranging from fusion maki rolls to Osaka-style okonomiyaki. While it may not strictly represent Japanese fine-dining, this down-to-earth spot boasts decent food and late opening hours.
With its warm ambience, this branch of the popular Osaka chain gets boisterous with Japanese expats, especially nearing its 3am closing time. Beyond the atmosphere, they come here for the drinking food, which hits the spot more often than not.
The chef’s choice of assorted yakitori (kushi set of five pieces, B170) does justice to the whole of the chicken; the well-seasoned, perfectly cooked giblets (heart and gizzard) are gamey with a nice, intense bite. The tsukune (grilled minced chicken, B45) is definitely some of the best around: moist on the inside with a well-balanced sweet-savory glaze.
We also like the kasu udon (deep-fried beef intestine udon, B200), which bursts with strong beef flavors, balanced nicely with a subtle bonito broth, tangy yuzu juice and fresh udon (made in-house). The Osaka-style okonomiyaki (Japanese-style pizza, B230) is another treat: fluffy on the inside with a light and crisp exterior, served with a hearty dose of tangy okonomiyaki gastrique (sweet, acidic, savory glaze), bonito flakes and beef offal. We say, order at least two.
All that said, Shakariki does have some flaws. Last visit, on one of the Japanese managers’ recommendation, we ordered the hon maguro don (fresh blue fin tuna served three ways on rice, B650), which was mediocre. All the tuna tasted past its prime. When chopped and mixed with spring onion it was bland, and when cooked and then torched, it was overdone and left an unpleasant mouthfeel. The kushikatsu (various deep-fried skewers), too, has its ups and downs. We like the chicken and wasabi wrapped in shiso leaf (B35) as it is perfectly cooked and the shiso leaf gives the dish a refreshing lift, but the fresh prawn and sardine options (both B30) are a tad overcooked.
With its lengthy menu of both food and drinks, Shakariki 432 will fill you up without completely draining your wallet. For the price, we can overlook some of its minor flaws.