Nakameguro Sumi-Grilled Yakitori

Maru, just a few minutes’ from Nakameguro station, is a great lunch spot for sumi (charcoal) grilled yakitori. The chicken, Amakusa Daiou, from Kumamoto, is called the king of chicken, and is known for it’s rich in texture and flavor.

The oyako-don (900 JPY), on the left above is a popular dish of chicken and eggs cooked in a sweet soy broth. Oyako is literally mother and child, a fun name for this dish. The sign of a good oyakodon is eggs that are just heated enough so that the whites just start to gel. The semi-scrambled eggs become a sauce for the chicken and rice.

The yakitori-don (1,200 JPY) includes three smokey skewers, grilled over charcoal: white meat, gizzard, and thighs with leeks. Two tsukune meatballs, a raw yolk, shishitō and nori round out the dish. Lunch sets include pickles, chicken soup, and a rich tiramisu.

Nakameguro is a hot area at the moment as several restaurants, including a hip City Bakery and Tsutaya bookstore have opened up under the tracks, in an area called Nakameguro Koukashita. On a recent visit the new shops were swamped, so we were happy to find quiet refuge at Maru.

Sumibiyaki Maru 炭火焼 Maru

Meguro-ku, Nakameguro 2-12-2 W. Nakameguro 1F

目黒区上目黒2-12-2 W. Nakameguro 1F

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Tamahide in Ningyocho

Tamahide in Nihonbashi Ningyocho has a perpetual line out its front door, regardless if it is a weekday or holiday. Its signature dish, oyakodon, literally mother and child, is bite-size pieces of chicken mixed with scrambled eggs and a sweet sauce. The chicken is cooked and then added to the eggs which is then just given some heat to start to set and this is poured over a hot bowl of rice.

 When I worked at Takashimaya, Tamahide did promotions in our depachika and the lines were there too.

Tamahide has been in business since 1760. In speaking to fellow diners, they too were curious like me, it was their first time, and they too wanted to try Tamahide’s oyakodon once in their life. As this is where the now popular comfort food was created here.

It is hands down the best oyakodon that I have had. Surely it is the eggs, the chicken, the seasoning, but also, having tried to make this at home a few times, I am always challenged to get the eggs to set just like this. The eggs are still runny and the savory sauce is filled with umami. It does come at a price though, at 1,300 JPY. My neighbor had the soboro oyakodon with ground chicken at 800 JPY and it looked just as satisfying. And, it is a bit silly to stand in line for longer than it takes to order and eat your food. But, I had to do it once, just as, I assume, many of the other customers. It would be fun to come for the dinner full chicken sukiyaki course.

Ningyocho is a great neighborhood to walk around filled with wagashi shops, kanmidokoro (Japanese confectionary cafes), sembei (rice crackers), tea shops, and more.

Tamahide 玉ひで

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi-Ningyocho 1-17-10

03-3668-7651

Closed Sunday and holidays

*This first appeared on my other blog in May, 2009, before Food Sake Tokyo was started.

Tsukiji Market Cheap Eats – Toritoh Chicken

toritada 1While many come to Tsukiji Market for sushi, I prefer to have warm dishes first thing in the morning. There is a wide variety of restaurants offering up more than just raw fish. Toritoh is both a restaurant and a retail shop. The retail shop in the outer market that sells both raw and cooked chicken. The restaurant is just around the corner from the retail shop. It’s a tiny restaurant that seats six at the counter and about ten at tables in the back.

** Note on a recent visit in October 2014 this fried chicken dish was no longer on the menu.
toritada 2

Kara-agé is Japanese fried chicken. This version fries the chicken and then quickly dips it in a sweet soy broth before putting over a bowl of rice topped with sauteed bean sprouts. It is served with a simple chicken broth, tofu, and pickles.

Toritoh 3

The signature dish of this shop is oyakodon, literally “mother and child rice bowl”, or chicken and eggs over rice. 親子丼

toritoh 5

The counter overlooks the open kitchen. On the stove there are several pots used specifically for cooking the chicken and eggs for oyakodon.
Toritoh 4Other dishes on the menu include yakitori over rice, chicken katsu (cutlets) and curry, and an interesting dish of bonjiri which is the fatty tissue near the tail end of the chicken.

Click here for photos of the dishes and a map to both the restaurant and the retail shop.

Toritoh

Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-8-6

03-3543-6525

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Tsukiji Market Cheap Eats

Where to have sushi at Tsukiji

7:30 – 14:30

Tamahide in Ningyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide in NIngyocho 人形町の玉ひで

Tamahide 玉ひで

Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Ningyocho 1-17-10 中央区日本橋人形町1-17-10

Tel. 03-3668-7651

11:30 – 13:00, 17:00 – 22:00, Saturday 16:00 – 21:00

closed Sunday and holidays

www.tamahide.co.jp/ (Japanese)

Tamahide will be easy to find as there is a perpetual line out the front door. The large white building looks like a castle with the large stones surrounding its base. Opened in 1760, this fifth generation shop is synonymous with a dish called oyakodon. Literally, mother and child, this dish is made from chicken cooked in a sweet soy broth with eggs added at the last minute until they just start to set. This is poured over a bowl of rice and eaten with a lacquer spoon. If you want to upgrade the dish ask for the duck and to downgrade ask for ground chicken. Seating is communal at low horigotatsu tables, with a hole under the table to put your feet into. For a real treat come in the evening for a full chicken sukiyaki course.