Yeah, normally I wouldn’t go into a Japanese bakery at lunch time, even if it also doubles as a restaurant. If at all, I would visit it maybe to pick up some pastries as a gift when visiting someone’s home. Hmm, I can’t remember ever bringing Japanese baked goods home for the family either. But I went into Yakitate at the Carrefour end entrance of Ibn Battuta this afternoon to check out the banner boasting ramen with hand-made noodles. To think, I just had ramen at Ibn Battuta a couple of days ago, at Atisuto. Could there be FOUR restaurants serving ramen at Ibn Battuta – FOUR? I think that’s probably a record – Atisuto, Ichikura, Umami and now Yakitate. Yessss!
Yakitate looks like a bakery on the outside and like a restaurant on the inside. Does it look Japanese? Yeah, I could see this place on a Tokyo high street, the staff all uniformed and smiley and ridiculously hee-hee hee-hee cheerful. That aside, the menu looked good. I ordered the same as I did at Atisuto so I could make a direct comparison – Ramen (beef this time) and Chicken Yakitori.
My waitress, a young Filipina, committed the cardinal sin of bringing starter and main to the table at the same time. When I pointed this out to her I got, hee-hee hee-hee. Thankfully the Yakitori was good, a million times better than the one at Atisuto. Not so the ramen which, while looking the part, was completely overwhelmed by the taste of bamboo shoot. And although I love bamboo shoot, I couldn’t take more than a few sips. In addition, the dried mushrooms used hadn’t reconstituted completely and the beef strips were as tough as leather. I explained all this to both the staff members who asked me how my food was. You know what I got as a response? Hee-hee hee-hee.
That said, I watched the same staff attend to other customers, particularly this young family of three sitting at the table beside me – mommy, daddy and little daughter. The little girl was clearly excited having ordered an animal shaped sandwich and the staff made her feel all the more special when they served it to her. So, although my experience was disappointing, I could see that service is definitely a Yakitate strong point. The same must be said where food is concerned. Ramen and Yakitori are perhaps not the best items to base a judgement on this restaurant with but, they are what I was there to try.
I doubt if I will return to Yakitate but if I do, it won’t be for their ramen or their infuriating hee-hee hee-hee. My Yasmin isn’t a little girl anymore, but I think maybe I’ll bring her here on one of the few daddy-daughter lunches we have left before she goes off to university…
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.