​It’s self-explanatory, but: Atelier Izakaya is a Japanese restaurant serving up yakitori and drinks in a lively, chic space in Jing’an. And it has a price point that won’t break the bank.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s operated by the Taste Buds Group, led by mixologist Daniel An. You might have heard of his other venues (Taste Buds and Atelier). Atelier Izakaya used to be Arch (pastas and cocktails), also by the same group. Loosing its luster, they switched things up by joining up with Hungry Lung’s Kitchen. It didn’t quite work.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Then they rebranded it into Atelier Izakaya. And now, I think Daniel An has struck gold—this city is on an izakaya binge and it isn’t slowing down.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

The space is split into a few sections—the bar counter, dining room, semi-private dining room towards the back, the cocktail bar, and the outdoor seating area (that’s just opened up). The biggest group they can accommodate in the main dining room is about 16 on one table.

The Food: What To Order

The menu features izakaya usual suspects: chicken, in many forms as skewers; beef, cooked on the charcoal grill; and filler rice dishes. There are a few Southeast Asian-esque dishes, which are reminiscent of Starling. (Anyone remember that? It was in Taixing 99 and they did an excellent laksa. RIP.)

Those Southeast Asian skewed dishes are very much must-orders, including the Tom Yum Chicken and the Lemongrass Turbot.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Black truffle foie gras chawanmushi (¥58) with asparagus and ponzu. Excellent starter.
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Soft Shell Crab Chinese Burger (¥68) – It’s a guabao stuffed with a deep-fried soft shell crab, avocado, corn, basil, tomato and red ginger. 5/5 enjoyable. Does not work as a sharing dish. (I tried.)
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Hokkaido Scallop Tapas (¥38) with beetroot, vinaigrette, nori, Japanese ginger. The “tapas” part of this appetizer is that it’s on a nori cracker that you can eat in one bite. It’s fun, easy to share, but I’d prefer to just revel in scallop sashimi. Three pieces a serving.
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Wagyu Uni Rice (¥68) – The requisite rice dish at izakayas. A5 wagyu, uni, onsen tamago, salmon roe, and sushi rice.
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
M7 Wagyu Rib Fingers (¥98) – Rib fingers are my recent cut of choice at izakayas. It’s meat taken from between the rib bones—excellent flavor, muscular, and marbled.
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Don’t miss the ray wings (¥28), served with shichimi and mayo. An excellent drinking snack.

Chicken yakitori options are split into two categories: fresh whole chicken that’s divvied up into parts for the skewers or the “simple yakitori”, which I’m guessing is sourced in bulk-buy parts. Nothing wrong with the latter, it’s just cheaper and requires less work than deboning whole chickens.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chicken wings with mentaiko (¥22/piece). Other chicken skewers start from ¥8 (heart) and go up to meatballs (¥18).

And finally, let’s have a look at those Southeast Asian-y dishes:

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tom Yum Chicken (¥48) – Chicken marinated in gin and tom yum spices and deep-fried. Zesty, spicy and addictive.
Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Lemongrass Turbot (¥128) – Whole turbot, grilled. Topped off with a chopped marinated salad of mint, citronella, lemongrass, yuzu ponzu and orange peel. The salad really lends its aromatics to the fish. Best to share with four people alongside other dishes.

Yeah. I’d go back just for those.

Drinks situation: Sakes by the serving (200ml) from ¥150, bottles (1.8L) from ¥1,080. Highballs start from ¥45, as does beer.

In Summary: An Affordable Chic Izakaya

What makes it different from the other upmarket izakayas is that they don’t do dry-aged beef, which keeps the average check low. Then again, your bill depends on how much or what you’re drinking. The space is approachable and comfortable, and I appreciate that there’s enough space between tables. Couple that with good food and you’ve got a win.

Atelier Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant for yakitori and cocktails in Jing'an. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

It’s one more option in the neighborhood if you’re looking for a destination that’s more polished than Yakingtori.

Favorites: soft shell crab, rib fingers, tom yum chicken, lemongrass turbot.

I hear the bone marrow is pretty good, too.


Atelier Izakaya
Address: 688 Shaanxi Bei Lu, near Kangding Lu 陕西北路688号, 近康定路
Tel: 13764886885
Hours: 6pm-1am