The Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar, London


In Britain, you would go to the pub for causal after work drinks. In Japan, you go to Izakaya for a "pint and skewer" after work. "Izakaya" which literally translates to “stay, sake, shop” and there is definitely something appealing at The Woodstock. Located just near Bond Street station, the bar features a selection of Kushiyaki and Kushiyage skewers alongside speciality Japanese beers, sakes and whiskies. 


Welcomed with a complementary drink of plum wine and Bombay Sapphire, it tasted very refreshing but I still prefer plum wine on its own. I was excited to see Kirin Ichiban on the draught beers menu as it is rare to find it in UK, of course we had to ordered a pint of it. A bit disappointed of the selection of sakes, hopefully they will expand the variety of sakes.


Pimientos del Padrón 

Crispy Calamari with Japanese Mayo and Yuzu Salt

The menu is very short, consisted of some snacks, kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and kushiage (fried skewers). The food came in a mishmash of time, skewers came before the snacks not that it matters hugely. Somehow the salt came as a side with the edamame rather than being seasoned, you have to dunked the edamame into the salt but it doesn't really pick the salt up so it can be bland. The Padrón pepper lacked seasoning, did not hit the the spicy jackpot either. The calamari was very moreish, crispy light batter and no hindsight of chewiness.

Ginger Pork Belly

Chicken Hearts


Quail Eggs

Chicken Thighs

Enoki Mushroom and Bacon

Soft  Shell Crab with Wasabi Mayo

Between two people, we had 6 skewers each from the kushiyaki which we could have eaten more of. Ginger pork belly were tender but could not taste the ginger. Chicken hearts, mackerel, quail eggs and chicken thighs were all equally nice. The enoki mushroom and bacon stood out the most, the saltiness of of the bacon complemented the mushroom very well. I wished the skewers could be more charred so giving it a slight crispy crunch and more smokiness. Nevertheless, the soft shell crab was wonderful and not a sight of oiliness. Infact, the deep fried items seemed more outstanding than the grilled items.

Matcha Green Tea

My huge disappointment came through at the end of the meal, as a tea advocate I was shocked to be served tea in a replicate of cast iron teapot made with china and not loose tea but teabags. Especially in a Japanese establishment, I felt a bit offended by the poor quality of tea and teawears. The teabag was from Pukka, supreme matcha green. Although we managed to drink the whole pot, the tea was too weak for our liking.

The concept of The Woodstock is based on the pubs and bars found in Japan, acting as a ‘pit-stop’ for a ‘pint and skewer’ before heading home after work. It's a fun little place to have quick drinks and some nibbles but definitely not for a full meal as the amount of skewers that you would have to ordered to fill up can end up being costly.

Score Rating: 2.5/5
Price: £20-30/head (50% soft launch, £30 for 2 people)

Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar on Urbanspoon
Square Meal



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