A Japanese yakitori restaurant from Brett Redman, the man behind Elliot's Café in Borough Market and The Richmond, in Haggerston.
We’ve all done it: had two too many beers and found ourselves wiping the chicken grease from our lips, regretting the wings even as we stuff them in. What is it about alcohol that makes you crave chicken? Well, as a far more advanced civilisation, Japan recognises this. Its izakayas – like pubs, but with better food and worse beer – serve up almost anything chicken-related on a stick. Juicy chicken hearts, chicken intestines (said to be wonderful for your skin) and chicken skin, are all given the skewer-plus-grill treatment. Essentially there to mop up the saké, they just happen to be really great bar snacks. Jidori, the new yakitori restaurant from Brett Redman has taken izakaya cooking and put it front and centre.
‘Yakitori’ literally translates as ‘fry chicken’ but there’s nothing Dixie about it. The chickens are free-range Goosnargh, hailing from Swainson House Farm in Lancashire. The closest you’ll get to yakitori’s Deep South cousin is the koji chicken – deep-fried chunks of thigh. It’s indulgent, to be sure, but the coating is dry and crisp – this is undoubtedly the best karaage I’ve had in London. Each skewer is very different; the wing with shiso and lemon was crisp, pleasantly sweet and a little sharp. The moreish tsukune skewers – packed full of chives – came with a raw egg to dip the meat into. There’s also a nice twist on English pub grub with a katsu curry scotch egg – the yolk runny, the coating crisp, the meat juicy: it was great. The negima brought back memories of Japanese festivals: the best thing about Jidori is how evocative the flavours are – everything tastes just as it would in Japan.
With a nice selection of craft beers – local and Japanese – plus a well-curated cocktail menu, the drinking element is more than taken care of. We really enjoyed our ‘Shiso into you’ (with a name like that, how could you not?), a spin on a classic sour: it was sharp and frothy, while the delicate shiso held its own against the alcohol.
Go with a group of friends, try as many dishes and drinks as humanly possible, and give Morley’s a miss on the way home.
89 Kingsland High St
|Transport:||Dalston Kingsland Overground|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:2
Great night out !!!
My favourite dished were:
Katsu Curry Scoth Egg
Chilled Udon and onsen egg was new and interesting !!!
MUST HAVE - Ginger ice cream with miso caramel, sweet potato crisps
We had a few Jidori pickle backs which were great, I haven't had a Japanese version one of these before.
Great for a night out in Dalston, I went with 4 people we shared a load of small plates. I liked the mix of getting the small plates and skewers and our favourite was the Katsu Curry Scotch egg. It was great that we got to try lots of small dishes and there was a great selection of the cocktails. I really liked the taspo and my partner liked the natural sake.
The interior was nice and modern and didn't play to any Japanese stereotypes.
The bill was reasonable and is better quality than the other food that is on offer in Dalston.
As a lover of this style of food I was excited to read about Jidori's opening, but perhaps I set my expectations too high. While there was nothing notable bad about the experience, it left me feeling a bit 'meh'.
Food was OK, but there were no stand-out dishes which left me wanting more. The mackerel tartare was probably my favourite the dishes I tried, but the portion was small for what is the most expensive dish on the menu.
I associate this style of food with cosy little venues, sitting close to the grill and picking and choosing new dishes as you go. The environment here felt a little sterile and took some of the soul away from the classic 'izakaya' experience.
A venue I wanted to love, but unfortunately not one I'll be rushing back to.
A complete disappointment and rip off. Plates were so incredibly small it is totally overpriced, especially as food is pretty bland. Cocktails were great, but again, incredibly small. First and last time for me here.
Finally I thought London was going to get the yakitori restaurant it deserved having missed it so much since coming back from Japan.
Unfortunately jidori was disappointing, the best thing being the umeshu soda I had to drink, which took me straight back to the golden gai bar district in Tokyo.
Yakitori is a simple art but one which requires attention to detail, which I felt had been overlooked. Skewers were burnt, dry and under seasoned. The tare was thin and watery and the skewering of the chicken was at best messy. An utter shame considering the great chicken they use.
Other reviews are so positive that I feel I might have gone on a very bad night, but unfortunately I won't be going back to see if this is the case.