Friday, July 13, 2012

Yakitori Tori Shin - Asian Kebabs!

When you head to New York City, one of the major decisions is always where to eat.  With so many well know restaurants spanning every imaginable cuisine in one area, it can be hard to choose.  Since our friends there have yet to lead us astray we usually look to them for recommendations.  We ultimately decided on Tori Shin, a new Yakitori place in New York that is garnering much buzz.  All that aside, when I saw this, I really had no idea what Yakitori was!  With the help of Google, I found out that Yakitori generally refers to skewered food in Japanese, but more specifically, skewered chicken.  To fall into an even more specific niche, these skewers are cooked over a grill of specialty charcoals.  Not long after we made the reservations, we found out about a new Yakitori restaurant on its way to Boston!  As this is still a relatively new trend in NYC, I was impressed that we were hot on the Yakitori trail.

After a very busy afternoon at in Brooklyn, it was a good thing we had some downtime before our 8PM reservations.  Nestled on 1st Avenue on the Upper East Side, we arrived just in time and were immediately sat at our table.  While there was an extensive (and expensive) sake menu, when we heard the options for pitchers of Sapporo we jumped on it.  With a group of 10 people, this made things a lot easier!

Amuse Bouche
Shortly after placing the drink order we started to look over the menu.  Even after doing some research beforehand, I was not prepared for this extensive menu!  With so many a la carte options it made it difficult to decide.  Luckily there is the Chef's Omakase option, which most (8 of the 10) decided on.  This was basically a chef's tasting menu that provided a nice variety of skewers and other bites such as sides and amuse bouches.  However, there was still some decisions to be made, one of which was the chicken.  Yakitori is know for cooking up almost every part of the chicken.  So there was the "brave" option, which would include the organs, and the "chicken" (pun intended) option that included typical cuts of meat you would traditionally think to order.  Only one member of our group was brave enough to request organs, but he ended up with the "chicken" offerings to keep it simple.  From there we were off!

Seasoned Fava Beans - amazingly delicious!
First delicious skewer - cannot remember!
Salt, special pepper and some soy sauce
Pickled Vegetables
Chefs hard at work - look at the skewers!

Another view
Breast meat with plum and shiso
Grilled Corn
Grated Daikon
Quail Eggs - such an interesting preparation that turned out so well
Thigh Meat and Saikyomiso
Roasted Tomatoes
Chicken Tail!  Definitely the most bizarre dish; consistency was a bit different but in a good way
Stuffed Mushrooms!  Not part of the a la carte (but so good we got a second order!)
Turkey Meatballs - another favorite!
Shishitoh (green peppers)
Last Skewer!  
Oyako Don (Ground Chicken and Egg over rice)
Special Side - between the raw egg and the other components the texture was just not my thing
Dessert!  Green tea ice cream
This was such a fun experience from beginning to end!  Every dish that came out was something special.  The skewers coming off the special charcoal grill had such a great smokey flavor.  The tasting menu was definitely the way to go as it was the perfect introduction to this cuisine.  I cannot wait to go experiment at the new Yakitori in Boston!

Have you ever had Yakitori?

Tori Shin on Urbanspoon


  1. The skewers all look so good. That sounds like a fun way of eating!

  2. This post makes me realize that the kabobs I make are so boring! The possibilities are really endless :)

    1. I don't think anyone would accuse any of your food as boring!

  3. I've never had yakitori - this looks so fun though! I hope the trend continues because I'd love to do this in Boston.

  4. I cant remember the last time I had kabobs. They are big in England. This definitely makes me realize I have been missing out. Thanks for a great review.

  5. This is such a neat concept! Love that you got to try so much stuff!


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