Being spoilt for choice is what's apparent on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, as we discover on our first night in town after a gruelling long-haul flight from Sydney

Fourteen hours to LAX, 2 hours in transit, then another 5 hours to JFK. I don't think I slept for more than half an hour for the entire trip, which is all good. Our holiday had finally begun.

Arriving earlier than we thought meant we had an hour or so before we could get into the Airbnb apartment in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. A pub was found around the corner, so as we sipped and yawned over a couple of drinks, time came to drop the bags, sus out our digs for the next five nights, then mosey on up to Smith Street to find a bite for dinner.

Izakaya on Smith seemed the ticket for a relatively quick feed before hitting the pillow for some much needed shut-eye. A pitcher of Asahi was just what my body needed. To share, of course.

A couple of pork belly buns (8) start us off and man, these were also just what my body needed. Slow-braised, juicy and fatty pork, a bit of cucumber and a little hijiki.

There are some nice-sounding rolls on the menu and despite the silly name, the Shrek (12) was even enjoyed by the other half, a person that doesn't like sushi rolls. Not that this had any raw fish in it. The usual suspects of cucumber and rice, plus raw pickled beetroot, wasabi mayo, crispy salmon skin and seaweed powder on the outside. The larger than normal circumference caused some difficulty in picking up the rolls without them crumbling and falling apart, but once in the mouth, it was delicious.

Saba shio (9) is always a nice choice for a good dose of omega-3. Grilled mackerel with a light sprinkle of pepper. Sadly the fish was overcooked and riddled with bones, but aside from that is was ok. The skin was the best bit.

A few skewers of grilled goodies joined the table as well. Hotate bacon (3) are scallops wrapped in, you guessed it, bacon - before hitting the flames. I could have eaten these juicy little suckers all night.

We also have karo bata (3); Berkshire pork sausage that's akin to kransky, just not as spiced. We couldn't keep our eyes open for much longer; perhaps only for the several blocks it took to get back "home" for some much needed rest.

Izakaya on Smith
176 Smith Street
Carroll Gardens
Brooklyn 11201
718 855 2020
Mon-Thurs 11.50am-10.45pm
Fri-Sat 11.45am-11.30pm
Sun 4.45pm-9.45pm
website
Izakaya On Smith on Urbanspoon