Dine-ing at Yakitori No.1 Japanese restaurant in Cardiff

This post is sponsored by Go Compare. Yakitori #1 were not aware that I was reviewing them.

How do you fancy gaining access to an exciting range of discounts at UK restaurants? Well, thanks to Go Compare, you can now do just that, and you don’t have to fork out on a membership fee for the privilege. Founded by a Welsh entrepreneur,  the Newport-based comparison website has teamed up with restaurant discount scheme, Dine to reward customers with a complimentary membership (usually £49.99) when they purchase car, home, pet, van or bike insurance through GoCompare. There are lots of restaurants signed up to the Dine scheme, including trusted chains and leading independents, and deals include 2-for-1 mains, 25% off your bill (including drinks) or 50% off all food.

A traditional Japanese restaurant in Cardiff Bay, Yakitori No.1 offers an authentic menu with a modern twist, from sushi and sashimi, to yaki soba and yakitori. #ad #yakitori #japanesefood #japan #restaurantreview

Yakitori No.1 Japanese restaurant in Cardiff Bay

I was delighted to discover that one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Cardiff, Yakitori No.1, is participating in the Dine scheme. I first reviewed Yakitori No.1 back in 2014 and I’ve had a couple of memorable meals in there since, so I was very excited about going back, especially as it meant I got to catch up with my brother, who was in Cardiff for a business meeting.

Let’s talk about the menu. So, from what I can gather, not much has changed since my first visit, but as the saying goes, if something isn’t broke, why fix it? It ticks all the boxes for your typical Japanese restaurant menu, from sushi and sashimi, to yakitori and yaki soba, and so on. If you fancy something a little out of the ordinary, choose from a selection of carefully concocted dishes flame-grilled on a Japanese robata and served with onigiri (grilled sticky rice), soy, tobiko (flying fish roe) and sesame. Take the surf n’ turf, for example; a combination of scallops, beef & prawns, or the scallop yuzu, infused with lemon and crispy ginger.

Decor in Yakitori No.1, Cardiff - Japanese restaurant in Cardiff

Similarly, not much has changed in terms of the decor. It’s still very modern and minimal, with a choice of traditional Japanese bench-style seating or table seating.

A bottle of Takara Umeshu (£29.50) teased our tastebuds ahead of the feast that was to follow. This sweet Japanese plum wine is dangerously drinkable, with a deceptive strength that creeps up on you when you’re least expecting it.

Takara Japanese plum wine bottle, with wine poured into glasses

I don’t actually like crab much, but Japanese soft shell crab is an entirely different matter. A soft shell crab (one that has recently shed its outer shell, leaving behind a very thin, soft shell that will eventually harden) is dipped in crispy tempura batter and fried to a crisp, resulting in a golden, crunchy delicacy with a tender, meaty inner centre. Yakitori’s version certainly didn’t let me down, made all the more mouth-watering by a punchy wasabi mayo. My only regret about ordering the dish was that we didn’t decide to go for one each!

Soft shell crab with wasabi mayo at Yakitori No.1 Japanese restaurant in Cardiff

We moved swiftly on to the yakitori prawn kushiyaki (£5.60), a trio of fleshy tiger prawns grilled in soy, sesame and zesty citrus ponzo, perfectly presented on black slate.

Prawn yakitori skewers at Yakitori No.1 Japanese restaurant in Cardiff

The third dish we tasted was chicken gyoza (£5.60), satisfyingly crunchy and packed with minced chicken and veg, accompanied by a homemade sweet chilli sauce.

Chicken gyoza with sweet chilli sauce

My brother was particularly keen to try the karaage ramen (£11.50), a chicken, vegetable and miso broth with snow peas, peppers, beansprouts, red & spring onions, spinach & fried shallots, topped with Japanese-style fried chicken. I’m a big fan of both ramen and chicken karaage, although I was apprehensive about the idea of combining the two as I wondered whether the heat from the broth would cause the chicken batter to moisten and go soggy. Despite my doubts, the combination did seem to work initially, although you need to eat the chicken pretty quickly as the batter does get a little mushy after a while.

Chicken kara'age ramen

Moving on to sushi, we munched on the dragon maki rolls (£10.50); a generous portion of maki rolls stuffed with crispy prawn tempura and cucumber, dressed with fresh avocado and lashings of moreish Japanese mayo, sesame & tobiko. The next time I visit Yakitori, I’ll definitely be working my way through some of their other maki roll variations – they’re great for sharing as you get a decent quantity, although they’d be just as enjoyable on their own as a main meal.

Dragon maki rolls

It’s practically impossible for me to visit a Japanese restaurant without ordering tuna tataki. Sashimi grade tuna is pan-seared until the outer edges are just cooked, leaving a succulent, pink centre which has an irresistibly meaty texture. To-date, the best I’ve tried was at Ichiban Japanese restaurant in Cardiff (with branches in Roath and Canton), but I think I’ve found a new favourite at Yakitori. Here, the dish is paired with citrus ponzo, which cuts through the slightly fishy flavour of the tuna, making for a refreshingly different, yet perfectly palatable taste.

Tuna tataki

What better way to round off our Japanese banquet, than with a super-sized matcha-misu cake (£6.50)? This cake was so big, it provoked one of those moments when your jaw hangs in disbelief as you feel your tongue begin to salivate upon the mere sight of the plate, licking your lips in anticipation. A triple-layer light, fluffy matcha sponge was sandwiched together with thick, sweet matcha-infused mascarpone frosting and raspberry jam, covered in a thick layer of frosting and sprinkled with matcha powder. I believe this is a Japanese twist on a tiramisu, although it more closely resembled a Victoria sandwich.

Matcha cake

Meanwhile, opposite me at the table my brother dug into a moist chocolate and matcha brownie (£5.50), served with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice-cream to offset the decadent, rich texture and sweetness of the brownie, preventing it from getting too sickly half-way through.

Matcha brownie

Prices at Yakitori No.1 are around average for a Japanese restaurant in Cardiff, especially considering the restaurant’s prime location in Mermaid Quay. Our total bill came to £94.60 for the two of us, but as the wine alone cost £29.50, we felt this was pretty reasonable given the amount of food we’d consumed.

As far as Japanese restaurants in Cardiff go, Yakitori No.1 is a good shout: carefully presented Japanese food freshly prepared by a well-trained team of Japanese chefs, served in classy yet comfy surroundings, at a price that won’t break the bank.

If you’re dining on a particularly low budget, Dine membership allows you to get 25% off your total food bill when you dine at Yakitori No.1 Japanese restaurant in Cardiff with up to four guests anytime from Sunday to Thursday. So, it may be worth considering purchasing through GoCompare the next time you’re shopping for car, home, pet, van or bike insurance; if the costs work out well and the policies are suited to your needs, it’s a no-brainer if you askme!

Do you like Japanese food? Tell me about your favourite restaurant in the comment box below – and don’t forget to pin this post for future reference!

A traditional Japanese restaurant in Cardiff Bay, Yakitori No.1 offers an authentic menu with a modern twist, from sushi and sashimi, to yaki soba and yakitori. #ad #yakitori #japanesefood #japan #restaurantreview

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This post is sponsored by Go Compare. Yakitori #1 were not aware that I was reviewing them.

30 Comments

  1. July 16, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    OK now this sounds like a restaurant to go and check out! I have to admit I’ve never tried that much Japanese cuisine, but it is something I would love to try more of.

    • July 17, 2018 / 12:45 pm

      I am a huge fan of Japanese cuisine 🙂 I love sushi and sashimi (especially tuna tataki), but I also love chicken kar’age and soft shell crab – basically, anything fried – haha!

  2. July 16, 2018 / 8:06 pm

    Mmmm, I love plum wine! This restaurant sounds great and is so affordable. I wish I’d known about it when living in Cardiff myself!
    C x

    • July 17, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Ooh, I didn’t realise that you used to live in Cardiff. We could’ve met up and drank plum wine, haha.

  3. July 17, 2018 / 6:21 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Japanese food before because I’m not that adventurous when it comes to food x

    • July 17, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      You should give it a go. A lot of people think Japanese food consists of eating raw fish, but there is so much more to the cuisine than that 🙂

    • July 17, 2018 / 1:43 pm

      It’s a great restaurant. They’ve been going for a few years and the food is fantastic 🙂

  4. July 17, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    I absolutely love Japanese food. My local one offers a good variety of vegan options too. If I ever visit Cardiff I’ll check out this one. Will definitely check out the website you recommend too as I love a bargain!

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:35 pm

      Me too. It is relatively healthy compared to what I usually eat when I dine out too!

  5. July 17, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    Im a massive Japanese food lover. The Matcha brownie looks incredible. I’m also a lover of ramen. This place looks like a great eatery and one i would love to try x

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      I’m a big ramen fan too. I tend to eat it more during the winter though – it can be too hot to eat during the summer, I find.

  6. July 17, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    The chicken gyzoa sound really good with the homemade sweet chilli sauce. I haven’t tried Japanese food before but it looks very fresh and light.

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:32 pm

      They were lovely – so crispy and moreish!

  7. Chilling with Lucas
    July 17, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    That’s a great promotion, I feel like I need to get something from Go Compare now! The food in the restaurant looks lovely too x

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:32 pm

      I’ll definitely be considering them next time I’m shopping for my insurance.

  8. July 17, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Japanese is one of my favourite cuisines! All of your photos made my mouth water. X

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:31 pm

      It makes me drool just looking back at these pics!

  9. Rachel Nicole
    July 17, 2018 / 10:53 pm

    The food looks amazing here, sounds like a great restaurant. The desserts in particular is making me feel hungry! xo

    • July 18, 2018 / 11:58 am

      I know what you mean. I’m on a keto diet now and looking at these desserts is pure torture, haha!

  10. July 18, 2018 / 2:18 am

    Yum, what amazing sounding food, a real mix of delicious dishes, that matcha sponge looks fantastic.

    • July 18, 2018 / 11:51 am

      I loved that matcha-misu cake! It was soo good.

  11. Emily (@amummytoo)
    July 18, 2018 / 9:50 am

    It looks really great restaurant – some of the dishes look mouthwatering. I know what you mean about the batter on the broth meaning it goes soggy eventually, but I actually quite like it when it does!

    • July 18, 2018 / 11:50 am

      Ooh I’m the opposite, I love the batter when it’s crispy! Makes me hungry just thinking about it, haha!

  12. July 18, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    That deal for when you buy insurance products sounds great! I’d definitely have headed here too, the food looks super delicious!

    • July 18, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      I think you’d have liked it. I know Marcus doesn’t like fish but there was lots of other kinds of food there too 🙂

  13. bread // queer little family
    July 18, 2018 / 2:47 pm

    I love anything with Matcha in it that cakes looks amazing. When I learn to drive I might have to check this Dine scheme out.

    • July 18, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      I’m learning to drive now so I hope the promotion is still running when I pass my test 🙂

  14. July 18, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    Without sounding stupid what the heck is matcha? I mean I’ve seen it in a lot of things but I’ve never tried it or seen it. TBF I have only just tried avocado and realised I’m not a fan.

    • July 19, 2018 / 3:10 pm

      Matcha is a Japanese powder of ground tea leaves which is used in teas, lattes and also for baking. It has a lovely vibrant green colour and I think it has a mellow, slightly sweet taste.

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