I lied. We didn’t actually have any sake [because the happy hour beers did us in before dinner] but that was a much more clever title than anything I could come up with using yakitori.. thoughts? Anywho, Friday night Nathan and I had dinner at Ippuku, a traditional Japanese Yakitori restaurant. We wandered in there after dinner a couple weeks ago and knew we had to check it out.
We were seated in our own little nook.
And they immediately brought out a cabbage wedge with Japanese mayo. Nothing crazy but I always love a good crunch. And as Nathan noted, much healthier than the fried wontons that typically come out a Chinese restaurant.
And we noticed this little sign..
Note the “…poultry (including chicken)…” in that warning. They serve chicken tartare. We were not that adventurous.
We did, however, ask the waitress for recommendations when we were ordering. She happened to be from Japan and told us that this was the most authentic yakitori she’s had since coming to the states. That’s always what we want to hear!
We started the meal with shiitake mushroom skewers. I’ve been really digging the meatiness of mushrooms lately and the light grill flavor offset the earthy flavor of the mushrooms well.
Next up, we shared the chicken thigh and leek yakitori. There was a light teriyaki-style glaze on them which gave them good flavor but not too heavy.
Beef tongue. Ever had it? It might have been my favorite dish of the night. It was grilled nice and tender, not too chewy. And I don’t think it could taste me [ha!]
The squab was by far Nathan’s favorite. It was absolutely delicious and the skin definitely made it. Grilling really does make everything better.
We finished up with chicken ramen, traditionally served at the end of the meal. It was salty but very light and tasty. I grabbed a couple pieces of chicken and put them on my plate to soak up some of the grill flavor from the other dishes. It was a good idea!
This was a really fun meal. I love being able to share a bunch of dishes with Nathan so we can taste and discuss together. We’re planning on going back and trying more soon; Nathan’s got his sights set on the squab again and I’m definitely going to try the whole grilled squid! And maybe next time we’ll save ourselves for some sake.
Food for Thought
Have you had traditional yakitori?
Do you like small plates that you can share or do you prefer a full entree?