Nojo greets its guests with an open-air terrace with standing room where visitors can chill over beers and cocktails during happy hours. The space also doubles as a waiting area until the next table is ready for guests. The interior of Nojo is a handsome square space, with an open kitchen area set with bar seating, which are prime, spacious areas where guests can watch their food and drinks being given their finishing touches. Large communal sharing benches are placed at the centre of the room. The interior is reminiscent of a traditional izakaya, with the addition of industrial cast iron and dark wood embellishments dispersed throughout the space.
The menu serves a generous range of izakaya treats, some with a Western twist; but, more importantly, standards and execution are satisfying. We began our meal with the Nojo house-made umami pickles, where a mélange of fresh seasonal vegetables are quick pickled with vinegar, salt, and dashi to bring complexity. We love the light tartness, followed by the umami from the dashi that lingers on after we tasted the sweetness which originated from the root vegetables such as radishes, carrots, and daikon slices. The myoga, or ginger buds, were particularly enjoyable, as the sharpness of ginger was slightly muted and mellowed.