Steve and I managed to get to Yatai to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.
As you may already know from a previous post, this is my favourite restaurant in Aberdeen. We have been a few times - all when it has been in Skene Street. We didn't manage to get to it when it had moved for a while to Langstane Place but it sounds as though that was for the best.
Quite astounded by some of the awful reviews on TripAdvisor. I'm not sure if the quality really did go downhill when it was in Langstane Place or if some people just really can't get on with something a bit different.
Anyway, we loved our visit as usual.
Service is great - they will explain everything to you and really help you to understand the way it works here and give you more information about how the food is made, how they eat in Japan, what kind of sake to try, and so on.
The building is not great. I have no idea how wheelchair users would get in. The whole place seems a little run down. However, the food is amazing!
Here is a photo (taken from Yatai's blog - link above) of a recent menu that is similar to the one we got to choose from last night.
Highlights for me were the selection of seasonal appetisers, duck breast in teriyaki sauce and the soft shelled crab.
In the selection of appetisers we got seared venison, a kind of pastry parcel filled with Shetland crab, raw pickles - radish and garlic, and cucumber with a miso paste. All delicious. The duck breast and belly pork skewers were both beautifully tender and tasty. The soft shelled crab was delicious too and I can be a bit of a wimp about eating things that look too much like whole animals but I gave it a try and loved it.
We also had venison in a barley miso sauce which tasted fine but it was very reminiscent of any Scottish stew my Mum or Grandma would have made. Nothing wrong with that but I come to Yatai for something a bit different so wouldn't choose that again (especially not as one of the most expensive dishes on the menu).
The waiter recommended about 6 dishes for the two of us. We ended up having nine plus one dessert between us. Steve also had sake. The bill came to £72. This is pricey for us but I am happy to pay it as you get a very different dining experience, everything is made fresh and from well-sourced good quality and, often, local produce and most of the dishes are incredibly moreish.
5 stars from me. I think I'll have to go and do a Trip Advisor review to try to redress the balance a bit.