Hidden Japanese Yakitori Den
April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
OK… I won’t tell you where to find this one. Not right now anyway 🙂
This yakitori is the kind of place you sort of want to keep for yourself. It is so exclusive, so precious, so rare… so Japanese. I’m grateful to my wife. She’s the best guide you can imagine when it comes to Japanese eateries in China. And I must protect the secret, or at least a certain dose of mystery.
As for those who don’t know, a yakitori is one of the numerous type of Japanese cuisine. Western people usually knows Sushi well, Teppanyaki, Shabu Shabu, Tonkatsu, Gyouza, Okonomiyake, Isakaya maybe… there’s more than a dozen different kind of Japanese restaurants, each one originated from a different part of the country, different service style, cooking methods, philosophy, kitchen set up, size and guest seating type (bar, table, tatami…).
At a Yakitori place (焼き鳥/やきとり/ヤキトリ), it’s all about about skewered food. Believe me Japanese are good at grilling anything! Liver, Chicken Heart, Chicken Skin, Cartilage, Tongue, Pork Belly… and other more common things and close to my taste such as: Garlic, Green Pepper, Asparagus wrapped in Bacon, Enoki mushrooms, Chicken/Beef Meatballs, Chicken Wings… a real grilled fest washed with an extra cold Asahi beer. God… it doesn’t get any better.
Now the scene… an all wood decorum, walls covered with rice papers strips with beautifully written dishes’names and prices, gently waved by the fresh air every time a guest slide the door and step into these small temples built in homage to food and drink deities. Yakitori must be small, comfy, homy, crowded, noisy, smelly, smoky, LIVELY! You eat at the table or by the bar like me and get intoxicated with more beer, sake or plum alcohol. Top 40 Japanese pops playing, totally covered by laughters, and heavy half-drunk talks. I love that part. Soon people are cheering, hugging each other, the usual Japanese shyness and restraint vanish. This is time for brotherly, sincerity… emotion.
Hidden Japanese Yakitory Den