By the same talented team behind long-standing favourite Etsu Izakaya, Burleigh's Iku Yakitori & Whisky Bar is next level on so many fronts.
Step past the simple façade, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world. Or, at the very least, another country. Whacking you in the face the moment you slip inside, it’s sensory overload with a solid cement, open-plan kitchen on full display. It’s atmospheric, narrow and bustling, and you’ll likely be rubbing shoulders with your neighbour when you pull up a front row seat at the yakitori bar, where steam wafts and the grill sizzles as ex-pat Japanese chefs work over the robata and white-hot binchotan charcoals.
If you’re coming expecting a similar menu to Etsu, you’ll be mistaken. At Iku, they’re presenting a simple offering that hones right in on yakitori. For the inexperienced, yakitori translates to chicken skewers and a technique utilising every part of the bird, from breasts and thighs, to chicken skin, liver, heart and oyster, each carrying its own subtle flavour difference and paired with fresh wasabi or special seasonings and sauces made from house recipes.
While a traditional yakitori bar is almost exclusively skewers, they are complimenting the robata grill menu with options from flavour-packed salads to agedashi tofu, along with a select number of raw dishes from Hiamasa kingfish to beef tartare, karaage chicken, Wagyu sirloin 7+, traditional Oyakodon, chicken udon soup and liver pate (again, making use of the whole chicken).
Hands down one of the best new restaurants on the Gold Coast, you don't wanna miss this!
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List