Grilled chicken is king at local Japanese izakaya
Yakingtori is a popular Japanese izakaya restaurant in Jing’an District at the corner of Kangding Road and Shaanxi Road N.
Usually packed every night, it specializes in yakitori. Its semi-open kitchen offers customers a close-up view of the chef’s meticulous skewer-grilling skills.
Yakitori literally means grilled chicken, commonly made with bite-sized pieces of chicken meat, chicken offal or other meats, as well as vegetables skewered on a bamboo stick and grilled over charcoal.
Indeed, grilled chicken is the star of the show at Yakingtori, from neck to tail.
If you order late, some dishes are usually sold out, such as chicken neck and chicken rump. However, other chicken parts are equally delicious, including the heart, gizzards and skin.
It’s amazing how these simple chicken parts are transformed into something delicious simply with salt or yakatori-sauce seasoning before they’re grilled over charcoal and cooked to absolute perfection.
For different varieties of beef, the flavor of choice is a yakitori sauce called “tare,” made of soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. When applied to Japanese-style beef kebabs, a bold, umami flavor takes shape, accompanied by traditional izakaya drinks, including sake and high ball.
If you enjoy the guilty pleasure of foie gras, try the sinfully delicious ribs with foie gras (38 yuan/rib).
The grilled hanging tender (68 yuan) is lean, muscly beef cut close to the heart.
Most grilled items are seasoned with onions and limes to accentuate the flavor.
In addition to the meaty skewers, there are other grilled items on the menu.
My favorite was Japanese yam (38 yuan) because of its special texture topped with a unique, cheesy mentaiko dressing.
Other mouthwatering main courses are salmon onigiris, mentaiko udon and sgyoza.
I left Yakingtori satiated and happy, already pondering my next visit here.
Opening hours: 5:30pm-11:30pm
Address: Unit 203, Bldg 1, 359 Kangding Rd
Average price: 220 yuan