April 23, 2023

Japan Michelin tour 2023 day 9: chicks on sticks

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One type of cuisine that has been glaringly missing from my diet over the last few years has been yakitori (焼鳥). Other than the occasional visit to Yardbird where we order up a couple of sticks among a wave of non-chicken dishes, Foursheets' general distaste for chicken - and especially offal - have precluded me from having lots of delicious sticks.

I'm alone for a few days on this leg of the trip, and I have a free slot for dinner tonight, so I got myself a booking at Yakitori Shinohara (焼鳥  篠原) - a place ranked among the top 20 for yakitori in Tokyo. They are known for using the famous Takasaka chicken (高坂鶏) from Kobe. For the second seating at 8:30 p.m., the majority of diners were foreign tourists...

Takasaka chicken soup with wonton (高坂鶏のワンタンスープ) - the soup was very light, with just a little seasoning.

Marinated spring mountain vegetables (春の山菜) - with Japanese angelica shoots (タラの芽), shimeji (しめじ) mushrooms, and mitsuba (三つ葉).

Raw chicken isn't something I normally would partake, but when in Rome...

Chicken sashimi (お刺身) - on the right hand side there is fatty liver (白肝) from a female, sprinkled with salt and taken with sesame oil. This was slightly bitter but not bad. Thigh (もも) on the left side, and this was chewy. Chicken breast (胸肉) on the bottom at 12 o'clock, and tasted almost like white fish sashimi. Gizzard (砂肝) was on top of the breast and this was very crunchy. Taken with perilla flowers.

Seaweed roll with raw minced chicken and marinated unlaid egg (生つくねときんかん醤油漬けの海苔巻き) - my first experience with minced chicken meat that is raw, paired with an unlaid egg taken from the hen's ovaries.

Furisode (肩) - basically from the shoulder. Skin was nice and smoky. The meat was moist and still very springy.

Chawanmushi with Takasago Sunset (高砂の夕日茶碗蒸し) - made with Takasago Sunset (高砂の夕日) eggs, along with small chunks of chicken and mozzarella cheese at the bottom.

Thigh (もも) - I liked the skin better on this, as it was more crispy, but still got that milky flavor underneath the crust. The meat itself was also more juicy. This was really good!

Gizzard (砂肝)

Homemade liver pâté (自家製レバーパテ) - served with walnut bread.

Blue cheese hasami-age (ブルーチーズのはさみ揚げ) - with honey sauce on top.

Quail eggs (うすらの卵)

Budou tomato (葡萄トマト) - from Awajishima (淡路島). Pretty sweet and with smoky flavors.

Takasaka chicken tataki (高坂鶏のタタキ) - with two cuts of chicken just partially-cooked.

Thigh tataki (ももタタキ) - still crunchy.

Breast tataki (胸タタキ)

Thymus (食道) - still got the esophagus tube attached...

Unlaid eggs (提灯) - my first experience today with this prized delicacy.

Neck with skin (皮付きせせり)

Drumette (手羽元)

Thigh (かしわ) - the sauce was sweet but definitely also a little spicy and numbing, made with pepper (唐辛子), cinnamon, and other spices.

Pickled tomato (トマトの酢漬け)

Spring roll (春巻) - with minced chicken and diced bamboo shoots inside.

Meatball (つくね)

This was so, soooo juicy inside.

Clay pot rice with Takasaka chicken and bamboo shoots (高坂鶏と筍の土鍋ご飯)

Love it when there are bamboo shoots in my rice.

Chicken ramen (チキンラーメン) - with a soy sauce base.

Caramel ice cream

Iribancha (いり番茶) - from Ippodo (一保堂) in Kyoto.

I took it easy on the alcohol tonight, sticking to something I find easy to drink. Unlike some Malaysian guy, I did not ask the restaurant whether they had any Romanée-Conti... and I think I know enough about nihonshu (日本酒) to not ask for Jyuyondai (十四代)...

Kokuryu Hiirazu Junmai Daiginjo Nama (黒龍 ⽕いら寿 純⽶⼤吟醸 ⽣) - seimaibuai of 35%. Sweet on the nose with melon, fermented rice lees. Very smooth and soft on the palate. Elegant but not diluted or bland.

I was pretty full, and decided to once again walk back to the pad. I decided to call the Parental Units while walking, and ended up going in the wrong direction since I wasn't navigating properly...

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