[TOKYO] TORI TAMA: No limit chicken tasting. Sashimi and unformed egg.

Tori Tama

Dear Food Diary:
If you ever thought getting a reservation in NYC was hard, try Japan with zero Japanese. It’s almost impossible.

We wouldn’t have gotten to eat at this amazing chicken spot if my friend Y (a local) wasn’t in Tokyo. To get us into Tori Tama, she called several times just to be on the waiting list and when seats opened up, she begged the Japanese locals who were first on the list to let her “american” friends try this no limit chicken yakitori and sashimi place before leaving.

One of my favorite and most unique meals in Tokyo. I didn’t even know chicken had so many parts and textures.

Even with our Google Map we were lost. Tori Tama was a far walk from the subway station. Tucked underneath the highway. There original location wasn’t big enough to fit the demand so they opened a second shop a few blocks away – the one we went to.

Tori Tama - menu
No tourist in sight. Japanese only menu. I was so glad Y was around to guide us.

Each part of the chicken is intricately labeled. It’s not just thigh or drumstick here but distinguished as left of, right of, front of, back of or near this or that. Parts I never even knew existed or were edible, let alone delicious.

Tori Tama - counter seating
About a dozen seats wrap around the action on the grill. Lively and friendly atmosphere.

Tori Tama - nigori sake
Cold nigori – my favorite unfiltered sake to accompany the chickenliciousness that was to follow.

Tori Tama - veggies, daikon and raw egg
Veggies with miso paste, a nice little crunch in between chicken parts. Grated daikon, raw egg and soy to dip the skewers, giving it a fresh bite.

Tori Tama - tomato
Perfectly ripen plump and juicy tomato slices with a pinch of salt. Simple and good.

 

Tori Tama - chicken meatball
Chicken Meatball
Tender minced chicken with pieces of soft bone. Nice play of texture with a lovely chard on the outside.

 

Tori Tama - Sasami no shio konbu ae - breast meat sashimi with salted kelp
Chicken Sashimi – Breast Meat with Salted Kelp
Super tender and juicy, I never had breast meat this juicy before. It almost felt like eating thigh or some kind of fish sashimi. Just a little salt for flavor. So fresh and good. Who knew raw chicken could taste this nice.

 

Tori Tama - sashimi - wasabi
Chicken sashimi – Thigh with Wasabi
A bit herbal and not as bright as the usual wasabi. Pickled veggies on top. Nice and tender but the breast meat with salt and kelp was a better chicken sashimi option.

 

Tori Tama - chicken liver
Chicken Liver
Pasty but the taste isn’t too strong. The chard flavors were strong, covered with a little sweet sauce.

 

Tori Tama - chicken - kashiwa
Kashiwa
I don’t remember which part of the chicken this was but ultra juicy and tender, the sweet and chard crispy exterior was phenomenal. The control of the fire and timing was pure perfection. Chicken in Asia tastes better in general, but this was out of control good. Best chicken yakitori I’ve ever had.

 

Tori Tama - chicken - Soroba
Soroba
Another part of the chicken I didn’t know existed. Tender and tendon filled. Nice chewy texture. Simple shi0 (salt) flavor.

 

Tori Tama - chicken - Nisali
Nisali (between tail and spine)
Crunchy like soft bone and tendon with a sprinkle of salt and that nice chard exterior. The juice burst out at the bite, so good. We were all smiling with chicken bliss. I never thought that kind of happiness existed. 

 

Tori Tama - chicken - heart
Heart
Chewy and bouncy texture, a bit like guizzard but less bite and crunch.

 

Tori Tama - chicken - neck
Neck
I’ve had neck with bone and all before but never like this. So tenter and juicy, I know I’ve said that many times, but it really was. Like my favorite chicken skin but not as fatty. So good.

 

Tori Tama - chicken - chochin - unformed egg
Chochin – Unformed Egg
Saving the best for last. This was out of this world “unique”. Unformed egg with all its surroundings tissues and what have you. I’ve never had anything like it. The only closest to it was at Blue Hill Storn Barns, but the yolk was dried and shaved onto pasta, like cheese. Here, it’s all fresh and grilled. Chewy with little pops. Sorta like stomach. The meat part is chewy, organ like. The yolk park was the best.

Tori Tama - chicken - chochin - unformed egg yolk
Surrounded by popping texture all around, the yolk splashed out in my mouth like a sea of yummy yolk. The exterior was delicate yet firm, the resistance of a balloon. Once popped it melted away.

 

Tori Tama - duck
Duck
With a radish like sweet and spicy sauce. The miso completely covered the smokey meat. So sweet and juicy.

 

Tori Tama - pork belly

Pork Belly
What’s left to say. Fatty, crispy, chard flavors. I haven’t met any pork belly I didn’t like.

 

Tori Tama - dragon fruit baby
Dragon Fruit Baby
Sweet onion like sprout. The three of us thought it was sweet onion or young ginger, but the crunchy texture with a burst of scallion flavor got us all confused. Thankfully, the chef uncovered the mystery.

Tori Tama - whole dragon fruit baby
Chef showed us a whole dragon fruit baby. Cute right?

 

Tori Tama - Kinshinshai - Day Lily
Kinshinsai (Day Lily)
Really crunchy and sweet with that lovely chard flavor.

 

We loved our experience at Tori Tama. Chicken yakitori will never be the same again. Bringing a local along is a must.

 

P.S. Chubby’s Rating: chubby rating 5
www.toritama.net
日本〒108-0072 東京都港区白金6−22−19
+81 3-5795-2950