Toritama Honkan in Shirokane is an excellent yakitori restaurant serving an incredible variety of grilled chicken. The atmosphere is refined yet comfortable. Dinner starts with an appetizer of raw vegetables with a miso dip. Also standard is a daikon and raw egg dip for the yakitori. The flavors of the daikon balance out the salt and fat from the chicken parts. This is a true beak to tail yakitori restaurant and the variety of chicken parts that are available is impressive.
Among the more typical items such as tsukune (meat balls), liver, heart, gizzard, skin, and thigh are chicken tripe, inner thigh, thymus, aorta, knee meat, soft bone, hormone, spleen and oyster. However, a much more unusual item is 'chochin' or lantern, which is the chickens uterus with preformed eggs attached. There are about 30 or so cuts of chicken on the menu. The latter is an interesting mix of tasty organ meat with a delicious creamy yolk from the attached eggs.
Duck and pork yakitori are also available. Several vegetable appetizers are available including chilled tomato, a delicious simple salad, grilled garlic in soy sauce, and grilled vegetables including lily bud, leek, shiitake and others. Everything is seasoned perfectly and each piece served sequentially to maximize the flavor and texture. Rice with chicken can also be ordered to finish the meal. There are 3 chef recommended (osusume), courses with 7, 10 or 12 skewers offered, which provides a nice sampling of the best parts of the chicken. Many chicken parts were served from the osusume menu that were not on the menu and were the chef's special on that day. Wine, beer, sake and shochu are available.
Some English is spoken and the head chef was gracious enough in explaining the various parts of the chicken that I tried. An English menu is available. Prices are reasonable with each skewer from around 200 yen, whereas a 12 skewer course runs at 3580 yen. There is another branch in Kagurazaka and also in Singapore. They do take reservations and JPNEAZY can be used to make a reservation online. Toritama is open from 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. daily except for Sunday. The location is somewhat far on foot from the nearest train stations, so taking a cab from the station may be recommended.
Toritama Honkan is located in Shirokane. The closest station is either Hiro-o station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line or Shirokane-Takanawa on the Tokyo Metro/Toei Subway Line.
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I first visited Japan in 2001 and since then have returned many times. With the efficiency and reliability of its transportation, the graciousness of the people, and the dedication to quality in food and service, Japan has been my standard for modern travel convenience. Every return has reminded me of the remarkable depth and diversity of the country with no two trips being alike, despite retracing steps through familiar neighborhoods. The constant dynamism of the urban centers combined with the emphasis on tradition, sense of aesthetics, and attention to detail make it one of the most exciting places to visit and an inexhaustible land for novel experiences, modern and ancient.