Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oriental Night

NOTE: Japanic has now closed and Viva Cuba has opened in its place.

Tues 13 Jun 2006

Quite randomly we ended up in Japanic last night. I've only been once before, when it first opened, and at the time I was very impressed by the fact that they had Landlord on and that they fed us edamame (soy beans) to munch on with our beers. A bit incongruous, perhaps, but the mixture of Japan and England seemed to work well.

Last night I didn't bother even checking out the real ales on offer as, at present, you can have four large Asahi (brewed under licence, not imported) for £10. That's a beer deal you can't refuse. Japanic also seems to have a lot of other drink offers on, and I guess this is what imbues the place with quite a studenty feel. It's a very relaxed and casual place (we had a variety of angels, corpses and ninjas wander through on their way to the private karaoke room ...), so if you are after a smart bar this probably isn't for you!

The small restaurant area is well screened off from the main bar, and Japanic serves food pretty much all the time - after 10:30 you can still get a big bowl of ramen to help stave off the hangover. The food is served tapas-style, which matches well with beer drinking. All the dishes (in the evening) are priced at £3.30, which means that some dishes appear to be excellent value and others less so. However, it does all even out into a good value meal.

We opted for 5 dishes - karaage (deep fried chicken), Ingen Goma-ae (green beans with sesame), squid yakisoba (squid with buckwheat noodles), aubergine stuffed with seafood and deep fried and pork stir fried with peppers.

The overall winning dish was definitely the stir fried pork, which was very tasty, with loads of fresh, lightly cooked peppers, with both the green beans and the squid very close behind. We thought the deep fried chicken was a bit bland (some soy sauce with wasabi for dipping would not have gone astray!), and the aubergine stuffed with seafood was a bit on the greasy side. The five dishes was enough for us for dinner, though if you're super hungry you might want to opt for either more dishes or a greater selection of rice/noodle dishes.

After we finished eating we took our beers into the bar and indulged in some people watching. The total bill came to under £30 - the food component just £16.50! The service was friendly and efficient and the menu, in combination with the daily specials, provides loads of variety. Japanic is so laid back that even if you don't arrive with the intention of eating, you could well end up doing so!

We moved on from Japanic to the opening night (number 2) of the new (and interestingly named) Club Geisha, on New Briggate. This is part of 'multi-venue' D-Fusion, which includes D-Fusion (the bar, ground floor), Chao Sq (restaurant, first floor) and Club Geisha (second floor). Apart from being a very intimate little club (and therefore one with massive potential, in my books) Club Geisha didn't really leave an impression. It looks sharp because it's new, the music is pretty bland, generic house (and the sound system was judged average) ... there's not really a lot to distinguish Club Geisha ... The beers they have on offer are Fosters, Kronenbourg and Guiness - all served in plastic glassware and coming in at pretty standard prices.

It will be interesting to see if this idea of a multi-venue works (it just sounds scary to me!), and I am tempted to go back to Club Geisha on a Friday night at a later date - to see how (or if) it's evolved at all.

1. Japanic, 19 Queens Square, Leeds, LS2 8AP, phone 0113 244 9550
2. Club Geisha, 28 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU, phone 0113 246 9997
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alex, as a representative of Club Geisha i assure you that the club will live up to its expectations, the day you came on tues 13th june was coincedently an opening night for VIPs only it was purely for publicity reasons. However if you visit at the weekend i am very sure you will have a different view.

Kind Regards.

6:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i also agree with the anon persons comments. i dj there the 1st and 3rd sat each month. the sound system is huge and it has massive potential.

playing the best and newist funky house and electro!!!

9:56 pm  

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