Splurging on Japanese Food at Yataimura Maru

Hii everyone!

Before I fill you guys in on our February recap, I wanted to share with you what we did for Valentine’s Day, but only where we went out to eat. It is no secret that Yataimura Maru is our favorite Japanese restaurant, so our Valentine’s Day date was not planned. We go there that often.

Yataimura Maru is named one of Portland’s best Izakaya restaurants which serves ramen, sushi and yakimono (grilled or pan-fried dishes). Our first time eating at Maru about five years ago was also our first Izakaya experience and we loved it. Izakaya is a diffferent experience than most western restaurants; they have no courses, appetizers or entrees, and dishes come out as they are ready. Sharing is an important part of the true Izakaya experience.

Alex and I don’t eat sushi but we go to town on their ramen and on their yakimono, and since we always go for Happy Hour, we get amazing deals on food! So let me show you what we got that day.

Firstly, drinks. I don’t remember which sake Alex got, but it can be served hot or cold. I’ve been drinking a lot of tea because it’s still winter, and I found out that I can order a pot of tea for $4! I was so excited I went for it. I ended up ordering their Tangerine Ginger. It was delightful!


The first thing out was Chicken Karaage, which is fried chicken breast in a sweet soy and vinegar glaze. This is by far one of my favorite things to order. The chicken is scrumptious and juicy, the glaze is not overly-sweet, and the breading is not too oily. I always order it, and it never lets me down.


Next out was Hot Fried Tofu, which is fried tofu in dashi broth. When I first tried this dish, it was one of the first times I tried tofu. The tofu is soft and the dashi broth compliments it and makes it taste really flavorful.


Before we got our ramen we got Shio Karaage, which is deep fried chicken thigh seasoned with garlic, sesame, sea salt and black pepper. Our waiter basically told us it’s like Chicken Karaage but without the glaze. I personally like the glazed one better but this was really good too. It may not look like much, but it was surprisingly flavorful too.


I completely forgot to take photos of our ramen, but we got Tokyo Ramen, one of their best ones. It is made with homemade noodles in a chicken and pork  broth with rich soy sauce kaeshi, topped with chashu pork, green onions and mushroom. It is SUPER delicious, I cannot believe it. My mouth is watering right now just writing this. The noodles are perfectly cooked, the broth is luscious and rich, and what makes this ramen even better is their homemade Asian Spicy Miso chili sauce. Ahh!!! I need to get myself a bowl of ramen ASAP!

Shortly after, Alex’s Pork Belly came out. Just a simple meat skewer, I believe Alex said it had a light teriyaki glaze over it. I don’t eat red meat as much anymore, but I had a bit of it and it was good and well-cooked.


At this point, Ciel was almost done with his noodles, so we ordered him kaedama, an extra portion of noodles for his leftover broth. This is literally one of few restaurants where Ciel actually eats food. My heart is so happy!

Halfway into our ramen bowls, we finally got our Bo Gyozapan fried pork and chicken dumplings filled with glass noodles, Napa cabbage, green onions and garlic. These are another favorite of mine, very delicious. The wrap is soft and everything inside is finely minced so I never worry about big chunks coming out and it falling apart. They also come with a yummy dipping sauce that I cannot pin-point what it is made of.


I love the idea of our table being full of food, and we got pretty close. Next time we go, I want to get new dishes that I haven’t tried yet and some dessert. I will be sure to share all that with you because at some point, I would like to try everything in their menu (excluding the sushi). For now, this is all we had. My belly was full and I was happy.


I highly recommend this place to anyone who comes to Portland. They also have three sister restaurants, Shigezo Izakaya located downtown, Izakaya Kichinto and Wa Kitchen Kuu both located on the northeast area. We have tried Izakaya Kichinto two or three times now, and Shigezo once. I want to make posts about each place eventually and other ramen shops we happen to try to show you what else Portland has to offer.

Do you guys like Japanese food?
What is your favorite restaurant or favorite dish?


Find me on social media:

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest

9 thoughts on “Splurging on Japanese Food at Yataimura Maru

  1. We should definitely go to an Izakaya restaurant next time you guys comes to Vegas! We’ve only been to two different ones but they were both pretty good. 🙂 I’ve never tried sake before, though. Do you like it? Or only Alex? & most Asian restaurants give you a whole thing of tea for around that price, not all of them have different flavors though– you just have to ask. 🙂 Tangerine ginger does sound very lovely!

    I noticed that some Japanese restaurants have glazed karaage & others have the plain looking one but both have it on their menu as “chicken karaage.” We usually like the glazed one more, too, but are always surprised how much flavor the seemingly plainer ones have! Your ramen sounds amazing– mushrooms & a homemade spicy miso?? I must try!!

    Boyfriend loveslovesloves pork belly. It’s a bit soft & smushy for my liking but, I do enjoy the savoryness of it sometimes! Those Bo Gyoza sound & look awesome. The glass noodle inside was so creative. I cannot wait til you are able to visit & post about the other sister restaurants/more ramen shops. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Izakaya’s! And we definitely should. I like sake but don’t have it often. I tend to go for tea now a days.
      Really?? In my case, I did think the plain one did pack some flavor, but in my opinion, this glazed one was better. Ughh I wish you guys could come here!!! Alex bought some of their spicy miso and has been adding it to some of his dishes, he really likes it lol.
      The gyoza are among my favorites from this restaurant lol. I cannot wait to go to their other restaurants and of course, many more ramen shops.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s