Best part of traveling? Eating all the good foods without feeling guilty! (The word “diet” does not formally exist in my vocabulary…) It took us around 24 hours to finally get to Tokyo, so I really just wanted to pass out the first night… Fortunately Kevin dragged me out and we stumbled upon an amazing yakitori restaurant!
元祖串八珍 茅場町店 (Ganso Yakitori Kushi Hacchin) is a small yakitori place located in Chuo, Tokyo. Honestly, not even 100% sure that I got the correct name of the restaurant haha… Forgive me, I was tired!
Yakitori nonetheless can be found all over Japan (and even in the States). It’s usually regarded as drinking food, so imagine beer + skewers. Match made in heaven? I think so!
The skewers have a lot of variation when it comes to types of meat. Popular items include sunagimo (chicken gizzards), hatsu (chicken heart), and tons of other body parts of a chicken that you probably thought were inedible…
Wait wait! Don’t run away! There are of course more common meats that are just as delicious (and not as frightening). Pictured above is butabara (pork belly), gyutan (beef tongue), negima (chicken + green onion), and nankotsu (chicken cartilage + green onion).
Chicken is very common in yakitori and makes up the majority of the menu. They are usually cooked on a charcoal grill. Most places in Japan even have bar seating so that you may watch your food being prepared.
Here we have tsukune (chicken meatball), more nonkotsu, and quail eggs. We went all out if you couldn’t tell haha… But most skewers were only 100¥ ($1 USD)! How can you resist with prices so amazing?! (Answer = YOU CAN NOT!)
Here are a few of my favorites for you:
I usually don’t like chicken very much… But I will devour it in seconds if you smash it and add a stick! Tsukune is usually covered in a tare sauce which is very similar to teriyaki.
I highly recommend trying tsukune since it’s delicious (obviously) and a “safer” choice. If you’re feeling brave, then I dare you to try the more adventurous parts of the chicken! (It’s edible, I promise!)
Tamagoyaki (or “grilled egg”) is an absolute must try when visiting Japan. This cost about 300¥ ($3 USD) but was totally worth it. Kevin and I declared this as the BEST tamagoyaki we have ever had! (You can trust us, we eat tamagoyaki every chance we get!)
Another classic is butabara or better known as pork belly. I usually ask for this shio (or “with salt”). No lie, I probably ate like 3-4 of these that night…
Last but not least, gyutan or beef tongue! I realize this is not very commonly served in the United States, and I’m sure a lot of you are cringing at the idea of this. The texture is a little chewy, but it’s amazing when prepared correctly!
This wraps up my (unnecessarily long) post on yakitori. Hope you guys enjoyed it!