It was the last night in Tokyo for me during the Youth Ambassador’s Program. And for the night, I met my Uncle KY who works in Japan and he brought me around the sprawling city. We visited markets, departmental stores, and even a super cheap supermarket where I got plenty of snacks. For dinner, we headed to this place called Isehiro located at the Hotel New Otani. Who knew that buried deep within the rows of stores in the basement, there lie a storefront so inconspicuous, selling one of the most memorable Yakitori I will ever have till date.
Yakitori is grilled barbecued chicken in Japanese. And it can be taken as both a snack to go or like what I experienced, a sit down dinner. Each stick consist of skewered marinated pieces of poultry and grilled over hot charcoal in the traditional stores. And yakitori in Isehiro comes available as an entire Set Course of up to 10 items. You can order more if you like, or simply request to stop if you think that you had your fill.
- Bits of Chicken Breast barbecued with salt and served with Chinese horseradish.
- Chicken livers barbecued with sweetish sauce
- Chicken gizzards barbecued with salt
- Boiled quail eggs dipped in sauce and grilled with salt
- Chicken thighs sliced thin staffed with green onions on skewer together with mushrooms and green peppers barbecued with sweetish sauce
- Chicken balls made of ground chicken meat with flax seeds barbecued with salt.
- Chicken skin barbecued with salt.
- Chicken thigh cut in chunks, green onions and green peppers barbecued with sweetish sauce.
- Duck meat cut in chunks and barbecued with salt.
- Chicken wing barbecued with salt.
- Chicken Soup, Pickled Cucumber.
And check out the full article for the almost full set which I had!
Snapshot of the Hotel New Otani Branch’s Head Chef Kuno
Charcoal play a very important role in flavouring the meat, and not all charcoal are the same.
My uncle and I sat at the counter facing the yakitori grill, so we could see our food prepared right before us and be engulfed in the “smoke”’ of the moment! I started off the meal with pickled vegetables and salad greens with mayonnaise. Crisp and clear, something to cleanse the palate before engaging in meaty flavours.
Bits of Chicken Breast barbecued with salt and served with Chinese horseradish. This stick of chicken breast was lightly grilled just enough to cook the meat through to a subtle pinkish white hue and lightly browning the edges. This was like a palate teaser to open up the flavours of poultry appreciation. Nothing too strong or intense.
And then the next dish plunged the tastebuds through and through! Chicken livers barbecued with sweetish sauce. I have to admit that this was the best dish for me. Chicken livers so soft, yet nicely grilled with the edges slightly crisp and burnt giving a bitter sweet tickle, finally with the smoky savoury aroma melting through the mouth.
Clear the palate up with Japanese cuumber.
Boiled quail eggs dipped in sauce and grilled with salt.
Chicken thighs sliced thin staffed with green onions on skewer together with mushrooms and green peppers barbecued with sweetish sauce. Imagine the flavour, won’t talk too much here =D
The Chicken balls made of ground chicken meat with flax seeds barbecued with salt are some of the best juicy well grilled meat balls i’ve had in some time. Bite size pieces each packing a wholesome punch in itself.
Chicken minced meat was suddenly served with a cup of chicken broth.
And I had it together with rice! Awesome. Its scenes like this that remind me of Japan Hour where the presenter will go Oishiii!. Mix up the meat with the rice, sprinkle some salt. Take a spoonful in. Take a sip of the intense chicken broth. Enjoy!
Chicken skin barbecued with salt. Naturally tasty and a crowd pleaser.
Next, there was the Chicken thigh cut in chunks, green onions and green peppers barbecued with sweetish sauce. Decently nice, I was starting to get sated at this point.
Apart from the usual set course dishes, my uncle ordered a huge chicken thigh and drumstick in addition to the dishes served.
Served sliced up, this is really about enjoying your chicken thigh to the bone!
And to end things off, the last dish was the Chicken wing barbecued with salt. Strangely, this started to taste very similarly to the huge chicken thigh. (An obvious sign of “I am full”)
Chef Kuno and my Uncle KY.
Chef Kuno and Me! Thumbs up!!
Isehiro was a very fine Yakitori experience. And its certainly different experiencing it there right in Japan. I wish I could go back soon though, and maybe have another round of Grilled Chicken Liver and definitely a bowl of hot steaming Japanese Rice with Chicken Minced Meat and yummy chicken broth. Ahhhh.
4, Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Contact : 3221-4101Opens Everyday
From 11am-2pm and 5pm – 9.30pm