Menu Glossary

  • Aburi– Flame Seared
  • Beni Shōga – Plum Juice Pickled Ginger Strips
  • Champonzu – 5 Citrus & Plum Sauce
  • Charshu – To Slow Cook & Roast Pork
  • Dashi – Clear Umami Seaweed & Bonito Broth
  • Eryngii Mushroom – King Oyster Mushroom
  • Furikake –Japanese Nori, Sesame & Bonito Seasoning
  • Hā- Wasabi – Pickled Real Wasabi Leaf
  • Hajikami shoga – Pickled Red-White Ginger Sprouts
  • Hari-Senbon – Angel Hair Ginger
  • Hibachi Grill – Tabletop Japanese Grill
  • Ikura – Salmon Roe
  • Kakiage – Japanese Vegetable Fritter
  • Katsubushi – Smoked Bonito Shavings
  • Khaya – House/Home
  • Kinako – Soya Bean Powder
  • Kizami Wasabi – Pickled Real Wasabi Stem
  • Konbu – Dried & Cured Kelp Seaweed
  • Konro Grill – Handmade Diatomite Japanese Grill
  • Mamenori – Soybean paper
  • Matcha – Green Tea Powder
  • Mirin – Sweet Alcoholic Rice Wine
  • Miso – Fermented Soya Bean Paste
  • Mochi – Glutenous Japanese Rice Cake
  • Moyashi – Mung Bean Sprout
  • Nattō – Fermented Soya Bean
  • Negi – Spring Onion
  • Omusubi – Nori-Wrapped Rice Cake
  • Oroshi – Finely grated Ginger or Daikon
  • Oshibori – Hot Towel
  • Panko – Flakey Breadcrumbs
  • Renkon – Lotus Root
  • Saikyo Miso – Sweet White Miso
  • Sakura – Cherry Blossom
  • Sanbaizu – Delicate Vinegar of Konbu, Bonito, Mirin & Mushrooms
  • Shichimi Togarashi – Japanese 7 Spice
  • Shimeji – Asian White Beech Mushroom
  • Shiso – Staple Mysterious Japanese Herb, grown by KōL
  • Soba Noodle – Japanese Buckwheat Noodles
  • Sudachi Ponzu – Peppery Lime Umami Dressing
  • Tamago Yaki – Japanese Omelette
  • Tamanegi – Onion
  • Tare – House Soya / Mirin / Sake Glaze
  • Takuan – Yellow Pickled Daikon Radish
  • Tamari – Gluten & Alcohol-free Soya Sauce
  • Tobiko – Crab Roe
  • Tonkatsu – Japanese 10 Spice Bbq Sauce
  • Tsukemono – Japanese Pickle
  • Umami – “pleasant savory taste”
  • Ume – Sweet & Sour Japanese Apricot
  • Usu-Yaki Tamago – Shredded Omelette
  • Vu-ineguretto – Vinaigrette
  • Wafu – Japanese-Style base with Soy, & Rice Vinegar
  • Wagyu – ‘Wa’ means Japanese, ‘Gyu’ means Cow
  • Wakame – Species of Kelp
  • Wasabi – KōL Wasabi is Real Wasabi imported from Japan
  • Yaki – To Grill
  • Yuzu – Highly Prized Citrus Fruit
  • Yuzu Kosho – Citrus Chili Paste
  • Zukushi – “All kinds of…”

Did you know?

What is Wasabi? – Wasabi or Japanese horseradish is a plant of the family Brassicaceae, which also includes horseradish & mustard in other genre. A paste made from its ground rhizomes is used as a pungent condiment for sushi & other foods.

Real Wasabi – KōL does not use powdered horseradish. KōL imports real wasabi paste, grated from real wasabi rhizomes. Wasabi gives a clean, refreshing flavour burst, along with the sharp heat, which is temporary on the palette, over & above the unique pungent aroma. Wasabi is pure & clean & enhances the flavour profile of our dishes & brings exclusivity & uniqueness to dining at KōL!

Shiso Leaves (Perilla Leaf). A staple & fundamental Japanese ingredient. If there’s no shiso, it’s not Japanese!

Shiso is one of the most commonly used herbs in Japanese cooking. You often see Shiso with sashimi, which helps to keep the fish fresh & eliminated fishy smells. It is a side dish that is essential condiment in Japanese cuisine. KōL is very proud to have our own crop under the care & scrutiny of our own horticulturalist who exclusively grows red & green Shiso for us, all year round. We respect this ingredient immensely & take full advantage of utilising this precious ingredient to make our own recipes, such as, Shiso Vinegar &  Shiso Syrup which we use for our dishes & cocktails. 100% unique & exclusive to KōL.

Our beautiful Earthenware Ceramics

Unique to KōL, & nowhere else in the world, Nitsa Christopher (Mother to the owners), a ceramic artist, supplies her beautiful organic earthenware & vases to KōL. A bespoke collection of artwork which not only enhances the aesthetic, but brings an all-authentic dining experience, second to none.

The rest of KōL’s crockery & is sourced from the some of the finest boutique ceramic studios in Japan.

KōL Izakhaya – Contemporary Japanese

KōL Izakhaya has gone to great lengths to import authentic Japanese ingredients which Executive Chef Katsuhiko Miyamoto & our ‘KōL Krew’ use to influence our contemporary style, without sacrificing the history, respect & tradition of Japan’s *Washoku. 

Similarly, we respectfully and responsibly source local ingredients & combine them where it makes creative & culinary sense.

KōL’s signature & principal cooking methodology is the use of authentic Binchō-tan charcoal on our Robata Grills to enhance & deliver our flavours. Our Konro Grills, which make up our Robata Grill ‘island’, are imported from Japan. These highly sought-after grills are made from Diatomite (fossilised plankton), mined by hand from under the seabed & hand-crafted without mortar, providing for a stronger & more fire-resistant finish, & ultimately a pure heat source which enhances our cooking process & flavour profile. It is a centuries old formula steeped with tradition & technique, & we are privileged to offer this to our guests.

In addition, Japanese artisanship is on full display in the preparation & presentation of  our quality sushi & sashimi, under the strict guidance of Chef Miya.

Our menu has been designed as a sharing experience, mimicking Japanese Izakaya (street-side taverns) as our own, ‘Izakhaya’, bringing it closer to home, making it your home too.

We hope to delight you through our hospitality, in our harmonious zen-inspired atmosphere.

Washoku & Yoshoku

Understanding & respecting ‘Washoku’ is an integral part of dining Japanese.

Washoku or 和食 in Japanese literally means “Japanese food” in Kanji. It is also important to know that the Chinese character 和 means harmony.

Washoku is a social practice based on a set of skills, knowledge, practice & traditions related to the production, processing, preparation & consumption of food. It is associated with an essential spirit of respect for nature that is closely related to the sustainable use of natural resources.

Understanding Washoku & Japanese culinary terminology will enhance the flavours & your dining experience…it can be tricky on the tongue, but that’s where all the flavour happens, after all!

It is in the spirit of Washoku that KōL Izakhaya exists. It is our purpose to bring Washoku to you.

Yoshoku” means “Western food” & “washoku” means “Japanese food”, so while many popular cuisines from across the West were imported into Japanese culture, they merely served as an influence for the way of Japanese cooking.

KōL is where Washoku meets Yoshoku!

It is in the spirit of Washoku that KōL relentlessly sources the best ingredients in compliance and respect to this philosophy, importing many items from Japan, sourcing sustainably and organically where possible. Our seafood and beef are no exception, so we thought we’d let you in on where these precious ingredients are sourced:

Our Seafood and Fresh Fish – https://greenfish.co.za/

Greenfish was founded by two brothers, Ryan and Andrew with the intention of providing the restaurant, hospitality and wholesale industry with high quality, seasonal and locally sourced fish and seafood products. Growing up as artisanal handline and tuna pole fishermen, their combined 60 years of fishing experience has instilled in them a deep respect and connection to the ocean that underpins everything that Greenfish does.

As a family-run business, with a deep respect and connection to the ocean, we pride ourselves in catching and sourcing the freshest seafood, caught with the lowest possible impact on ocean ecology.

The Greenfish promise.

We want Greenfish to help lead the way in encouraging more sustainable, low impact seafood choices from responsibly managed legal sources that are environmentally sound. We are committed to ensuring that all our seafood is sourced from suppliers using the lowest possible impact on the environment and ocean ecology and ensuring that every fish on our website is traceable back to its point of origin. This information, which includes species, origin and method of catch is readily available to our customers, so they can make informed choices. For more info check out our Greenfish Eco Rating.

Greenfish Eco Rating Scoring System

In a time where the word sustainable is been used in so many contexts by so many people and large corporations it gets difficult to separate what is truly low impact vs destructive to our planet and oceans.

Transparency and the sharing of information to consumers is a way in which one can make a decision based on facts.

 We have come up with a Greenfish Eco Rating system that will share some information on your products so you can be empowered to make a choice that suits your beliefs.

Every item on our website receives a Greenfish Eco Rating to help our customers make their choice. Below you can find the criteria for this rating.

This scoring system, rated 1-5 will share information such as:

Ecosystem Impact:

This is the impact of the catch on the general ocean ecology. Here we look at the environmental status of the fish and the surrounding ecosystem.


How seafood is harvested is often as important as what it is. At the top of the rating is fish caught one at a time with a pole and hand line, and at the bottom is, well, bottom trawling.

Support Local Industry:

When we don’t catch the fish ourselves, we set out to find suppliers in local fishing industries to help provide jobs and opportunities.

Distance Travelled:

Even if you catch a fish yourself, it has a carbon footprint. This rating looks at how far the fish has travelled to get to your door.

Dolphin/Turtle Impact:

Dolphins, turtles, sharks, and seabirds. This rating looks at bycatch for the fishing method used to determine the chance of sensitive species being impacted.

Reproduction Potential:

Some fish have short life cycles and are thus more frequent spawners and less affected by fishing pressure. This rating looks at how resilient the population is.

With this information at your disposal the power shifts to the consumer in which they can make an educated choice of with product they wish to purchase.  This will ultimately drive market change as consumers forge the path of what they want in the market place.


What is Wagyu?

Wagyu is any of the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle. In several areas of Japan, Wagyu beef is shipped carrying area names. Some examples are Matsusaka beef, Kobe beef, Yonezawa beef, Mishima beef, Ōmi beef, and Sanda beef.

Wa = Japanese

Gyu = Cow

Our Wagyu is sourced from Silent Valley Wagyu. https://www.silentvalleywagyu.com/

Our Wagyu is graded Marble Score 8+ and 10+ (depending on which cut)

This marble score – or MS, for short – denotes the degree of visible intramuscular fat found within the meat, which appears in fine, white streaks and specks on the red muscle. Marbling scores are expertly graded from 3 to 12 by independent, qualified assessors, who base the score on the ribeye muscle of each cow.

Our cattle are reared without the use of growth stimulants or routine antibiotics. All our beef is fully traceable back to source via DNA. Our herd is closed to any form of transmittable diseases. We have direct control over every aspect of the diet that our cattle have available to them.

The highly nutritious, wild, native grasses that our cattle are grown on impart clean, buttery notes, naturally low in sodium and cholesterol, but high in the rich flavour and extraordinary health benefits expected from Wagyu. The unique terroir of Silent Valley Wagyu hints at Africa’s exotic wilderness, exclusively discernable in our beef.

  • All beef is source verified
  • All beef is DNA Wagyu sire certified (this means that the bloodlines can be traced back to Japan
  • All beef is free form growth hormones & antibiotics
  • Feed rations are free from animal by-products
  • Humane cattle husbandry practices
  • Export standard meat processing protocols
  • Comprehensive health and safety protocols

Our Waitrons Wear Maekake Aprons

Maekake literally means ‘hanging in front’. This style of traditional Japanese apron evolved from that worn by manual laborers for nearly 400yrs, & today is popular with artists & craftspeople & have become retro-functional fashion.

Maekake are made with thick, woven cotton canvas, which protect the wearer from physical injury & heat-related accidents, as well as keeping their clothes clean.

Rice farmers, sake & soy sauce breweries, & miso paste makers, among other professionals, would wear maekake adorned with their shop logo as a means to advertise their business. Not only did shop staff wear these one-of-a-kind aprons, maekake were also gifted to customers as a unique token of appreciation.

Ask for an Oshibori

An oshibori (おしぼり or お絞り[1]), or hot towel in English, is a wet hand towel offered to customers in places such as restaurants or bars, and used to clean one’s hands before eating. Oshibori have long been part of hospitality culture in Japan: in the Tale of Genji era, it was used for visitors; during the Edo period it was used in hatago; later, it started to be used in many restaurants.[2] It eventually spread to worldwide use. Cold oshibori are used in summer, & hot oshibori in winter. In Japan, October 29 has been observed as the day of oshibori since 2004.[3](hand-wipes) are hygienic, sanitized, moistened, lemon scented & 100% cotton


Shime is not the name of a particular dish but refers to the last drink or dish ordered. When it gets close to the end, people often say, “Sorosoro shime o tanumo,” [Let’s order one more dish & call it a night.] & probably they will select an item from the menu full of carbohydrates such as rice balls, ramen, udon, or a bowl of rice topped with hot tea.


At most Japanese restaurants, the servers will not come to your table unless they are called. Some restaurants have a call button, but at many places, you will need to call for the waiter by raising your hand & saying ‘sumimasen!’ which means ‘excuse me’ in Japanese. It might feel strange at first, but you’ll get used to it.

Hara hachi bu 

Hara hachi bu is a Japanese term meaning “Eat until you’re 80% full.” It originated in the city of Okinawa, where people use this advice as a way to control their eating habits. Interestingly, they have one of the lowest rates of illness from heart disease, cancer & stroke, & a fairly long-life expectancy.

A simple description of Binchō-tan is white coal.

In reality though, it ’s so much more…

Impeccable quality and very expensive, Binchō-tan is branch-shaped charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking to enhance the flavour experience. Produced through centuries of artisanal skill and craftsmanship, it is the epicentre of our concept and cooking methodology. It is cooking from the absolute source.

Binchō-tan is formed through a meticulous and systematic process of placing high-quality wood in a kiln for five days at around 240ºC, after which the temperature is raised to around 1000ºC. Once fully pyrolyzed, it is taken out and covered in a damp mixture of earth, sand and ash, giving it a ceramic-like form that burns fluorescent.

The result is a literally white-hot charcoal that is pure, emits almost no smoke when burning, infuses food with rare and delicate flavours, and when struck gives off a metallic ring, leading to it being used as wind chimes. Little is actually known about the molecular structure of Binchō-tan, only adding to its wonder and charm.

Binchō-tan is the fuel that fires the flavours and fragrances of KōL Izakhaya.

It is the burning centre of all we do and reminds us to always enhance.