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Posts tagged ‘Yakitori’

Bincho Yakitori, Soho, London

Japanese Pickles and Daikon salad

Asparagus, Enoki, Quail eggs and tomatoes wrapped in bacon

The inclined reader will have noticed my increasing interest in Japanese food. After holding a talk, I unfortunately had to excuse myself from the corporate standup lunch and headed out to a very important meeting. I had a date with myself at the Bincho Yakitori to taste the Yakitori. The place is quiet large, and I selected a small table near the entrance. The sake selection was large and Ihad an interesting experience after talking with the (not quite fluent in english) waitress. The masu (wooden box for serving sake), does change the taste of the sake, making it a bit more mellow. After trying that out, I can confirm this. The food was okay, I liked the pickles, wasn’t a big fan of the daikon salad and thought that the bacon was too thin on the different sticks. Finances:

Check

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Hana Zen, Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco

California Sushi

Asparagus Maki

Yaki Asparagus

Downton in San Francisco the Hana Zen restaurant prides itself on Yaitori and Sushi. Our reservation paid off, since the place seems fairly popular. The menu is full of tyipcal japanese pub fare, paired with your expected Sushi pieces. Very interesting are the Sake flights, which is a nice touch, since you get a mix of three rice wines and you can compare them head to head. Food is slightly ambitious (just look at the asparagus which is presented like a pile of wood) and is obviously aiming at pleasing the palate and the eyes. Also they served one of my favourites, cold soba noodles with dipping sauce. Together with different styles of Yakitori the meal was nice and at these prices I can certainly recommend the place to anyone who likes Japanese:

Bill

Yakitori Alley, Tokyo

Edamame, Bamboo, Yakitori

Edamame, Bamboo, Yakitori

I’ve really come to enjoy Yakitori, a typical japanese dish. One of the best know places is the Yakitori Alley in Tokyo, where different skewers of chicken bits and vegetables are grilled for you over binchotan, some Japanese white coal. About 50 smallish restaurants with a barstyle seating around the central grill are a special experience. It’s fun walking around, it’s hot, hectic, grimy, smelly and noisy, exactly the way I like it. But I thought that the food was overrated. All the places I sampled had okay Yakitori but a really limited selection. Asparugus Maki or Tomato Maki where nowhere to be found and some of the more interesting fish based bits wheren’t on any of the menus. Maybe with fluent Japanese you can make better progress. The best Yakitori place I’ve eaten so far remains Nanbantei in Singapore. Still, order some Bonjiri and tell your dining partner only after you’ve eaten what it was, is always good for a laugh.