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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Japan: Kyoto – Yakitori typhoon special

On Wednesday, 6 October 2009, Typhoon Melor, the first typhoon to reach landfall in Japan in two years, arrived on Japan’s south coast. The next day, it hit central Japan, bringing heavy rain and winds, disrupting flights and train services and sadly causing a couple of deaths.

We were in Kyoto at the time of the typhoon, and while the rain was heavy, it didn’t really affect the Kyoto area. Thank goodness! But for dinner on Wednesday night, we went to a yakitori restaurant, where there was a typhoon special – the price of all dishes were 50% off!

From what I can ascertain, yakitori literally means grilled chicken, and is usually used to refer to skewered chicken pieces. On the menu at the restaurant was chicken, chicken and more chicken.

Alastair and I ordered a few dishes to share (actually, the ordering went along the lines of me saying, “How about we order this, this, this and this?” And he said, “Okay.”)

Yakitori restaurant

I ordered us chicken skin skewers – there was an option for plain (with sauce) and garlic. We ordered two of each. These are the plain chicken skin skewers - they were fantastic. Fatty, delicious, a bit chewy in parts. Oh yeah.

Yakitori restaurant

The garlic skewers were also good, although I did shake off most of the garlic. I love cooked garlic, but not such a fan of raw garlic. I hate how raw garlic refuses to leave the party.

Yakitori restaurant

We also ordered some chicken meat skewers with sauce. They were good, but the chicken skin ones were the way to go.

Yakitori restaurant

Next were some rather large chicken wings. The wings could be done plain or hot, to which we had no hesitation – hot please! They were only mildly hot, but had a good crispy skin and tender meat that came easily off the bone.

Yakitori restaurant

We also ordered two minced chicken patties. The patties were served with a raw egg for dipping. The patties were juicy and somehow worked with the raw egg.

Yakitori restaurant

I always try to ensure we eat some vegetables, even if it's a token effort, so I ordered us a salad. It was quite a good salad, topped with fried lotus root slices, and I think that white item was deep fried chicken skin. Which pretty much negated the health factor. Buh bow. It was a losing battle anyway, with all that chicken!

Oh, and we noticed an interesting item on the menu at the restaurant - chicken sashimi. We didn’t order it. I’m a fairly adventurous eater, but can’t stomach the thought of eating raw chicken. Seriously, it makes me feel ill just thinking about it. Obviously that "raw chicken = salmonella" message has been drummed into me! Are Japanese chickens not at risk of salmonella?

Have you tried chicken sashimi? Would you?

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