My very first yakitori experience and before I even had anything, I was already drooling.
|Super hole in the wall restaurant|
When you have a shelf of sochu and sake in front of you, you pretty much can't go away with not having one. I had pointed to a random one (I think it was a sweet potato based sochu) on the menu but turns out they just ran out, and instead recommended this sake:
|A new one they just stocked|
Once the first round (beef belly) came by, the others rolled out one by one (pacing was perfect), and we got some edamame on the houseee (No, they don't give it to just anyone cause I'm super nosy and checked out the peoples beside us)They have beef belly on the menu and I'm sold. I'm trying to image the fatty layers before it even arrives on my plate and it's hard to not get excited. SO DELICIOUS. Could this be like a wagyu-wannabe? (I don't know cause I haven't had wagyu either) When it first lands into your mouth you taste the grill flavours (you know, the yummy color and flavours from your Maillard reaction) but then the fat hits your tongue and begins to melt. It's juicy, rich, and you think you've reached the peak of your love but then you bite down onto a meatier bit and the beefiness hits you. Yes, I am beef, it reminds you, and you think, wow. You'd think that the fat>meat ratio is too much but no. So then you take another strip of beef belly (they've arranged 5-6 well-portioned pieces of the belly onto the skewer to satisfy your pleasure). Very good
So while the beef belly still lingers in your mouth, the next plate comes by with chicken cartilage (right) that isn't super crispy (I've only eaten it deep fried so I was expecting a similar texture, which was stupid and ignorant of me). A bit on the salty side. Not sure if I would order it again, but I'll have a couple of pieces off your skewer when you order it. Bad
No, eating chicken heart (left) doesn't creep me out, I'm Asian. Actually this was marinated really well, and the texture when grilled was amazing. Nice bite, not chewy. But I was still thinking if we should get another order of the beef belly.... Good
Pork cheek is so delicious grilled - you can't get the same cooked-ness from even pan frying it on high heat. And it sounds good in Japanese too - tontoro. Very fatty, but unlike pork belly you get a nice bite (wow what's with these 'nice bite' descriptions I have today - current count: 2, I promise no more). And salted nicely so they also give you a yellow wasabi mustard which helps you cut through the savoriness. Usually I've had this served with some yuzu salt. But perhaps this wasabi mustard is a better accompaniment. Good
Chicken skin had crispy edges and a soft kind of chewy interior. Nice way to end off the meal. Maybe a bit too salty for my liking (I enjoy the sweet - savoury mix). (My favourite skewered chicken skin still has got to be this satay in Malaysia, specifically, the cart a few steps away from our apartment, whose chicken satay would be tender chicken thigh meat and chicken skin alternately). Okay
|Beatles memorabilia everywhere|
Major-ly missing my previously daily cafe and the baristas who were hipster AF, and loved coffee more than anything else.
|Waiting for our 'Clever' coffee (pour over)|
And because I can never make coffee or espresso like those guys I've now been making my routine batches of cold brew to try and cure the lack of good hot coffee and lack of cali cold brews.
, by Vicki Chow