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Sometimes when you’ve been frequenting the same restaurant for a while, you get stuck in a rut. You try not to disrupt a winning formula and simply order the same core set of dishes, exploring outward once in a while by ordering a bonus dish or two. Kota’s is a great example: there are pages and pages of delicious yakitori and small sides to choose from, but we almost always end up with the same ones on the table. And while they’re always good, who knows what else we’ve missed out on. Recently, we discovered a new favorite: Kota’s korokke (RMB35).

Add it to your list if it isn’t on there already. Its name is the Japanese for croquette, and here is a large ball of herbed potato stuffed with a soft boiled egg and lightly fried in breadcrumbs. It’s served in a delicate basket as a solid, ominous sphere. All the action happens when it’s almost ceremoniously broken into to reveal an oozy, mushy, absolutely wonderful combination of potato, egg and Japanese flavor. Most of Kota’s dishes are petite, organized and polished; the korokke goes against all this as a messy combination of different textures. We love it.

2905 Xietu Lu 斜土路2905号 6481-2005

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