C/ Comte de Urgell, 112, 08011 Barcelona, Eixample Esquerre
Mon, Wed & Thu: 13h-16h; 20h-23h
Fri-Sun: 13h-16h; 20h-23:30h
A yatai (屋台) is a small Japanese street cart where ramen and other hot dishes are commonly served. Eat Street erection! Sadly, they cut the cart in half and bolted it to the wall at the front of their new restaurant in Barcelona (the original Yatai is a take-away in Sitges). But happily, everything else about this place is hashtagawesomeamazeballs.
From the entrance with its takoyaki and taiyaki grills (image search that bad boy) to the last poster at the back, Yatai is as close to Osaka as Barcelona gets. The walls are filled, literally, with different Japanese signs, adverts, a Darth Vader poster, fans, daruma dolls and other traditional tidbits this guiri-gaijin cannot name. There are toys and games on display, some in glass cases and some for sale on the bar near the Asahi on tap (Oooh!) If it were ever empty of clients (it won’t be), you could walk around checking it all out for 15 minutes, easy.
The tables are no-nonsense slabs of wood fixed to double-stacked plastic beer crates. And the food is as real as the rest. Izakaya-style, you could go in for tapas (3-6€) like the everyman’s edamame and gyoza or some tebasaki (chicken wings à la Nagoya) and the aforementioned takoyaki. But you don’t need them if you go for the menús, which come with miso, a green salad and rice. The okonomiyaki is large and tasty, though Casa Xica’s might keep the prize here. And the donburi katsudon bowl is a mountain of rice heaped under sautéed onion, tender fried breaded pork and egg. Both menus will put you in a food coma for 9-11€. And then you can finish it off with an adorable (¿cómo no?) little sake bottle for two, and go back another day to try the kareraisu menu (Japanese curry dishes) and those taiyaki. どうもありがと.