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Torisawa sees no need to bother with fancy furniture or decorative flair. All that matters is the charcoal grill, a focal point everything else here revolves around. The 25 to 30 menu items – a few vegetables accompany the chicken on the grill – are listed on wooden panels behind the chefs’ heads. Every skewer lifted from the grill is small but perfectly formed – the luminous green Chinese daylilies contrast in colour and texture with the earthy brown chicken livers, while chicken ovaries hang from the skewers like burning lanterns. And don’t miss the chicken tenderloin, brushed with heat but still pink in the centre and topped with hand-scrubbed wasabi.
A diverse palate of flavours is made possible by the head chef’s use of four different sauces – soy, olive oil, sake and a concoction he’ll only call his ‘special sauce’. And OK, it’s not entirely about the charcoal grill; there are delicious appetisers of chicken skin in ponzu sauce and a simple chicken soup, while the chefs also make a mean tamago gohan (rice bowl with raw egg and spring onion). It’s a bit pricier than your average yakitori joint, as you’d expect from a place recommended by the Michelin guide; skewers range from ¥200 to ¥400.
The best choice here is to let the chef do his thing without restrictions, so order the omakase from the get-go and turn your eyes to the brief but impressive sake list – friends of junmaishu (pure sake) will have a field day. The skewers will keep coming until you signal you’ve had enough – we lost count at around 20, but the price still didn’t come to more than ¥7,000 (not including drinks).
2-24-13 Kameido, Koto-ku
|Transport:||Kameido Station (Sobu, Tobu Kameido lines)|
|Opening hours:||6pm-11pm (from 5.30pm Sat) / closed Sun & hols|