Report: Chicken dinner in Tokyo
- Michael L.
My brother is on a business trip in Tokyo and emailed me about his dinner in a place that specializes in chicken. He doesn't know the name of the restaurant because it was in Japanese, and he doesn't read Japanese. Seemed fuzzy about the location, too. But I hope you find the report entertaining. Don't ask me for more details, though, because I wasn't there. Of course, if any of you do know where this place is to be found, feel free to post the info.
Without further ado:
OK, so I just got home from dinner. I went to a business meeting today, and
the people I met with decided to invite me to dinner. We went to a
restaurant that specializes in chicken. Oh boy, do they specialize in chicken!
They specialize in a particular breed of chicken from a particular part of
Here are the courses I can remember eating. I hope I'm still alive tomorrow:
- raw miniature chicken egg yolk in a bowl with shaved radish and slices of
- some pickled vegetable identified only as "from the mountains"
- kimchee with slices of nearly raw chicken
- nearly raw chicken liver with wasabi
- barbecued chicken livers with a smokey flavor on a skewer
This was accompanied with a large glass of draft beer. Then, they ordered
cold saki which was served in a strange way. There was a square glass
placed in a cylindrical wooden container. Then the glass was filled til it
overflowed into the wooden container. The idea was to drink the stuff in
the glass, then pour the stuff from the container into the glass and drink
Next we had:
- skewers of crispy chicken skin (hot pepper was put on this one)
- skewers of marinated chicken
- skewers of chicken alternating with scallions
- skewers of asparagus
- a cup of chicken broth with scallions
- skewers of soft chicken cartilage
- a crispy chicken wing on a skewer
- skewers of roasted ginko nuts
- skewers of shitake mushrooms
next, they brought out chicken sushi, which even my hosts were taken aback
at, but which we ate anyway (they assured me that it was safe, but I'm
Finally, we finished with a bowl of rice with seaweed and dried plum.
I was waiting for the chicken ice cream...
One of the things I like about living in Tokyo is that there are so many (from a Western eye) truly bizarre things, even if you read and speak Japanese. That sort of total fanaticism about food--a course of all sorts of chicken bits, from a certain chicken from a certain area--fits into that category. (When I lived in NYC, a Japanese colleague asked me if there were any coffee shops that played only Beatles music. I couldn't even imagine such a thing, but hey, it's normal here.)
By the way, that style of serving sake is quite common. I think it's supposed to show that the restaurant owner is not stingy--he's willing to fill your glass to overflowing. I'm actually starting sake classes next month, so maybe I'll be able to confirm.