By Pete Martin
Colive is a small and friendly, family-run restaurant-bar staffed by the co-owners themselves. When I visited we sat at the counter in full view of the kitchen. The chef-owner reminded me a bit of action star Nicolas Cage (he actually resembles him) as he whipped up pasta and other fantastic western dishes to order in his spotless kitchen. His co-owner wife meanwhile serves up the food and drinks with a friendly smile. There is no English menu at the moment, but the staff can speak and understand a little bit of English if needed.
The food menu is a selection of appetizers including cheeses, breads, salads and small servings of meat and fish dishes in light vinaigrette and cheese sauces among others. The main dishes on the menu feature fish or meat. The meats are served in a variety of styles and with varied cheese, tomato or spicy sauces. Grilled beef and chicken dishes are very popular. Specifically, the meat section includes selections such as a popular chicken in balsamic vinegar sauce, Chinese-style spare ribs and Hamburg steak. The third main dish section of the menu features pasta dishes which are made with spaghetti or Fettuccine noodles in cream sauces, pepper/oil or tomato base sauces.
The mushroom spaghetti dish I had with an tomato base was outstanding- I would rank it among the best Italian restaurants' dishes in the city. It was impressive to watch how he cooked it up fresh in front of us in less than 5 minutes!
The drink menu includes the usual range of cocktails as well as quite good selection of Japanese sake and shochu spirits- most customers order these on the rocks or with hot or cold water. They also have whiskey, sherry, Grappa and other spirits at the bar. draft beer is 500 yen and bottled beer, Guinness and other beers a bit more.
There is counter seating for around 6 people and seating at 4 tables in the dining area. This is a great little place worth seeking out if you are looking for a nice western style meal with drinks in the area near the Peace Park.
They are closed tuesdays, but open every other evening from 5pm till 11pm. They accept reservations, but do not accept credit cards and there is no car parking available.
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I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.