For the savvy connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine, Una Mica de Japó is not a novelty. This izakaya (Japanese tavern) is one of the best representatives in the city of what they do.
It all happens in a small, cosy restaurant with eight tall tables surrounded by stools and room for four at the bar. It's run with wisdom and know-how by Michika, his son Joe in the dining room, and his nephew Shinya, who helps in the kitchen. What stands out above all else is the elegance of Michika's cooking, done in plain view. Home-made, simple, flavoursome, and authentic, the food at Una Mica de Japó is a series of tapas and small dishes. Every bit is tasty, well prepared and original. The well-lit dining room creates the sensation of being in an actual Japanese tavern, with their high tables and stools. Among the details that make it different from other places are the menus hanging from the rafters, one with little placards in Japanese and Spanish announcing the tapas of the day, and another with the mains.
During the Japanese timetable (12.30pm to 10pm), you can find typical home-made Japanese food in the dining room or at the bar. They do not serve sushi or yakisoba (chow mein), but you will find a number of exquisite dishes, such as sautéed vegetables and vegetable tempura. The gyozas (Japanese dumplings, or pot stickers) are moreish, and they give you plenty. Other stand-out starters include the potato croquettes (korokke) and the beef and onion skewer (kushikatsu), but the most popular is the bento, a daily dish made up of various small plates. Before the bento, I was pleasantly surprised by a salted mackerel, which is listed with the tapas, and grilled sardines with rice. The day we dined at the restaurant, the bento contained the following: seaweed and sautéed vegetables, aubergine with a divine meat sauce, battered white fish, a delicious chicken burger with lotus flower, Japanese radish, Japanese omelette, and gohan (white rice sautéed with sesame).
You can also try other home-made dishes like the veal with sukiyaki sauce and rice, curry with breaded pork, and tori teriyaki don (a chicken teriyaki), with marks well above those served at fancier and more expensive restuarants.
For dessert we opted for the castella, a Japanese sponge cake – don't worry if it's green, that'll be the green tea it's made with. Since the selection of wines is close to nil, opt for a Japanese beer or green tea to complement the excellent food.