The first place I went to was number one on the map of participating places (maps can be found all around Shimokitazawa at participating restaurants or at the event office on the second floor of the Uniqlo building just outside Shimokitazawa station). It is a place called Bar Loaded, run by a friend of mine, Kazu.
Kazu is doing a dish comprised of 2 skewers of grilled pieces of pork belly and spring onions, one plain, the other covered with a spicy salsa sauce. Having eaten Kazu's food before, I knew it was going to be good. Now Kazu knows that I like spicy food so he asked me how spicy I wanted it, from 1 to 10 and with the bar regulars shouting out "10, 10, 10!" how could I say no? So a 10 it was!
After a short wait, it arrived.
It sure smelt good! Starting on the plain one, I took my first bite. First impression, a nice smokey taste to the pork. The seasoning was good, simply pepper and salt which allowed the full flavour of the pork belly to come through.
Pretty soon the first one was devoured.
Now for the spicy one. First bite, the crispness and the tang of the salsa provided a nice contrast to the pork. Not so spicy, but, working my way along the skewer, the heat began to build and it was nice and spicy at the end!
The beer that came with it was a nice way to finish the dish. How spicy was it you ask? Well the spiciness wasn't too bad in the mouth, but the sweat that it worked up were pretty impressive!
Nicely done Kazu, I enjoyed that! The flavours combined well. And very reasonable for 1,000 yen including the beer.
Please get along to the spicy food festival and check out Kazu's skewers. Tell him that Jason sent you and if you are up for a challenge tell him you want the salsa "Jason spicy level"!
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did eating it! Please leave a comment below and stay tuned in the next couple of days for dish number 2!