When I was at Setoda Link B&B, I asked them for dinner recommendations in Imabari. They recommended me to eat “yakibuta tamago gohan” and “Imabari yakitori”. They recommended a couple restaurants for both and while I couldn’t go to both, I did make it to one of the shops, Maruya. Maruya is a small yakitori shop that specializes in Imabari’s version of yakitori.
Imabari yakitori is considered a secondary food of Japan. It is good rustic style food that is called “B-gourmet”. Rather than the regular yakitori that is grilled, Imabari yakitori is often finished up on a griddle, or completely fried on a griddle. The sauces are quite nice and it is a really good drinking food, and that’s what we did.
Finding Maruya is not easy. It is located in the middle of a residential area and we got lost a couple of times. The first time was my fault as I misread my map, but once we found the street, we thought we were still lost as there was nothing but homes in the area. We soon found the shop pretty quickly and got inside.
Inside, Maruya is a very tiny shop. They have a few tables and some counter seats. We sat at the counter because I often enjoy the counter. It is easy to speak to the chef/bartender and you can watch them making your food. We were greeted by a very friendly older lady who I assume is the owner. She made some recommendations and we ordered a lot of food and a lot of drinks.
Once we finished, we grabbed our things and went out. While the lady who greeted us wasn’t the one who cooked or served us, she did come out at the end and gave us a few free handkerchief towels. It was a really nice gift for us 3 travellers and I can’t express my gratitude enough. I really enjoyed this place and next time I’m in Imabari you can be sure that I will be back. The food was really good and the hospitality was also really good.