Yakitori is a Japanese version of skewered chicken. Similar to the logic of Turkish ocakbaşı, it is grilled before the eyes of customers.
Chef Yoshiteru Ikegawa, a skilled yakitori expert, is at the helm of Torishiki. The restaurant features one stationary grill surrounded by a counter with 8 seats. The meat and vegetables on small wooden skewers are cooked over a “binchotan” fire, a tough type of white coal.
The chef turns the skewers regularly at less-than-one-minute intervals to ensure homogenous grilling. You may notice the chef’s hands turned black because of the charcoal fire. He has almost become one with the grill such that he does not mind the fire touching his hands anymore.
Ikegawa’s agile and lively cooking ceremony is sometimes paused when he takes out the big folding fan tucked under his belt to cause a storm over the grill to rekindle cinders. Of course, it is impossible see any smoke in the restaurant as the powerful ranger beneath the skewers takes in all the smoke before it rises.
Torishiki’s menu includes chicken drumstick, breast, liver and various combinations made with all the kinds of chicken offal as well as chicken skin. Especially chicken meatballs are quite successful. The dishes are occasionally accompanied with a variety of tastes such as eggs, baby potatoes, pepper, tofu, seasonal mushroom and rice balls.
When you hit the roads after a nice meal paired with sake, Torishiki staff accompanies you to the door and sees you off with gestures of respect and gratitude they repeat until you disappear into the streets.
Those who might be embarrassed by this ritual may take the first turn and allow the chef to return to his grill as soon as possible!
1 Michelin-star Torishiki can be a lifesaver for those who are prejudiced against Japanese cuisine as I think it appeals highly to Turkish palate.
Bon appétit and enjoy the taste of life…
〒141-0021 Tokyo, Shinagawa, Kamiosaki, ２−１４−１２