NYC Yakitori

Earlier this week, I decided to get “adventurous” within the confines of Japanese cuisine. I typically stick to sushi and fish, but there’s a whole other world of Japanese food out there.

Such as yakitori.

What better place to give it a try than Torishin, with its various rave reviews.

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The restaurant was nestled on a quiet street with an unassuming storefront. I would have easily missed it if I was not looking for the place. It’s a bit like Sushi Yasuda in that sense, except that the line outside Sushi Yasuda alerted you to greatness.

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We had the “yakitori omakase.”

Beginning with an appetizer trio of chicken, potato with truffle, and persimmon with tofu cream. The chicken was tender (a recurring theme of the dinner), the potato was spectacular (and I’m not the biggest fan of potatoes), and the persimmon was refreshing.

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We all got a bowl of finely diced daikon radish as a palate cleanser between the skewer courses. The first was the inside of the chicken thigh.

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Then chicken liver (I can safely say that I am not a fan of liver in any cuisine, be it Chinese or Japanese or French. Meat fruit was the lone exception, but that was more because of the theatrics than the flavor.)

Also of note is the sake. It was dangerously smooth (seriously, it went down like water), and the flavor had just a hint of plum.

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Chicken oysters, the extremely tender part of the thigh. The chef recommended that we eat each piece in one bite…but I declined that suggestion. It was still good, so it all worked out!

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The pepper flakes added such great flavor. It wasn’t too spicy, but added delicious heat.

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Chicken breast wrapped with shiso leaf and topped with plum dressing. Not my favorite, mainly because I find chicken breast rather tough and flavorless.

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Rice and soup, topped with mentaiko. This was good, and I love the flavor of mentaiko. There was some hidden wasabi in the soup though, and I only found out about that after accidentally ingesting a giant chunk of it and promptly coughing.

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Dessert was the nightly special, their creme brûlée trio: from left, the matcha, the black sesame, and the roasted green tea. The black sesame was spectacular and reminded me of the black sesame ice cream I had when I was younger and living in Kuala Lumpur. The roasted green tea had an intense (in the best way) flavor.

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As you can tell, I was quite a fan of the dessert.

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Dinner was very good, and the courses were tasty, but I didn’t find anything to be so special as to warrant a second visit.

You can find them on 53rd and 9th, and they are open every day for dinner. Number is (212) 757-0108. 


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