Our little secret place

On a quiet street in a commercial district dense with restaurants and bars stands a yakitori* restaurant called Kazari. “Regulars often say that they like how small the restaurant is,” said the owner Satoi-san. As for seating, there is a counter as well as one small tatami space for a group. “Our selling point is the salt we use. It’s a special kind of salt the brings out the sweetness and umami flavor of the meat when grilled.” He tried many different varieties of natural salts before he discovered one that met his standards. I learned that customers visiting from out of town would even sometimes give him samples of various salts to try. The deliciously juicy, grilled to perfection chicken combined with the scrutinously selected salt was a delight. “If I even find a better salt, I’ll switch and start using it here,” he said, always in pursuit of improvement.


*Yakitori is a Japanese type of grilled skewered chicken.



A man who appeared to just be getting of work came in and sat at the counter. “How about one of these?” said Satoi-san, holding out a bottle of sake. I could tell he knows exactly what his regular customers’ likes and dislikes are. I learned from Satoi-san that most of his regulars let him pick what they should drink. By doing so, he can select drinks catered to bringing you just to that nice place of tipsiness.



I followed the cue and asked for something light and refreshing. Satoi-san immediately took a bottle of shochu from the shelves behind the counter. I asked him how he is able to intuitively know what his customers want. “It’s because I like to eat and I like to drink too, and I serve the food and drinks that I like to eat and drink. The most important thing about running a place like this is the question, ‘Would you want to go there yourself?’ I do this because I want to make the people who come here happy.” Satoi-san pays attention to the mood and style of each customer who sits at his counter, and serves them delicious and deftly selected drinks. Regular customers here often say, “I wish this place could just be our little secret.”



Yakitori Shuka Kazari

addressYasaka Renga-dori 1-4-13 Kitahama, Beppu-shi
hours19:00-3:00 AM (last order 2:00 AM)
closed onevery other Sunday
recommended forchef’s choice five piece set 680 yen