After a nice morning and early afternoon of visiting Kiyomizu-dera and shopping, we had a nice nap, then headed off to Kyoto Station. We had booked a trip to Nagoya.
For what, you might ask? Earlier on the trip we had visited Asahikawa in order to check out the "Main Branch" of Santouka, during one of our many visits to Taisho, Taka-san had told us that we should go to visit the "Main Branch" of Yakuyudori in Nagoya. We thought "why not"? And soon enough and told Taka-san that we'd be glad to visit Yakyuudori and told him what day we'd be there. On our next visit, being the nice guy he is; Taka-san handed me a small slip of paper with a phone number and the address of 142 Fujimigaoka. Apparently, there are several Yakyuudori and Hinotetsu branches in the area, but this is the one we should visit. He even told me that his friend, the main Yakitori guy there would be expecting us.
So it's was a pleasant trip on the Shinkansen, about a 40 minute trip to Nagoya Station where we meandered around a bit, then caught the Nagoya Higashiyama Line to Fujigaoka Station.
We walked around exploring the area, which is much different than around bustling Nagoya Station. We walked through the market and checked out some shops, before heading down Fujimigaoka, which parallels the train tracks (a key item).
Along the way we passed another Yakyuudori. We checked the phone number on the sign. When it didn't match up, we kept going. Until we ended up at this little shop right next to an auto repair.
The locale was quite amazing as it was built right below the subway tracks. Entering was even more interesting......consider the nice, rather darkly lit, austere, yet fairly classy Taisho...jazz music playing in the background. And then check this place out!
Man, you gotta love this place! A total neighborhood "joint", the guys working here were really friendly, almost jolly. And everytime the train passed overhead, the whole restaurant would rock slightly! Amazing!
The "main guy" was so funny...he'd been expecting us, and in fact, wore a Yakitori Taisho T-shirt to welcome us! Check out that crock of salt!
We ordered all the usual suspects.....if you read my Taisho posts, or have been to Taisho, you'll recognize them. This is where Taka-san trained.
Things started with some Hatsu (chicken heart). We weren't too thrilled by the appearance, but man, this was really good. Heart like gizzards always seems to absorb a good amount of smoke. Combine that with the perfect amount of salt and grilling the chicken heart to "just done" and this was so good. It was very tender as well. You could tell that the chicken here was much different than what we get in the states.
I thought the gizzards were a bit too hard for my taste.
Nice smokey flavor though.
This was good time for a beer break. We ended buying a round for the folks working and they were having a great time....singing aloud, almost dancing.....we were just loving it.
And we loved the Tsukune too. Up to this point in time; I'd say this was the best I had ever had.
My goodness, that tare was a wonderful combination of sweet-salty-savory....the meatball was slightly crisp on the exterior, and meltingly soft....as is the hallmark of the tsukune served at Yakyudori-Taisho-Hinotez here, there was a light background hint of ginger floating around. And a dip in that egg yolk.....adding a rich creaminess. This was number one, until it was dethroned later on this trip. Still, I'd come back for this in an instant!
The Missus loved the creamy Kimo - chicken liver.
Again, not over-cooked, and without tare....but the Missus said it was great.
The nankotsu was also a winner.
Great crunchiness, crisp on the exterior. Nice, restrained seasoning.
And of course......a Yakyudori classic....the Teba, chicken wings.
The akahimo also tasted like a carbon copy of what we regularly get at Taisho.
The kawa (chicken skin) was also a winner. Here it's served without tare as well.
Light and crisp at first bite, transitioning to a creamy interior. Perfect salt, really great chicken flavor.
And then the buto-shiso....the porkiness of this was very distinct.
The interior of the pork roll was very tender, this was another winner.
We loved this place.....the casual, yet welcoming crew, the unique atmosphere. This is what we were wishing for and were left wanting at the Yakitori places in Tokyo. After returning, I chatted with Taka-san about the differences in the chicken used at Yakyudori in Japan and here in the states. I was told that he "wishes he could get the same quality and breed" here.
Well, I guess we'll just have to head back to Nagoya......
Meito-ku Nagoya Aichi
Before catching the Shinkansen back to Kyoto, we stopped at Takashimaya Department Store....of course going to B1 and checking out the food and snacks. One of the women working at one of the stands was so friendly and warm....really wanted us to taste everything! She was a hoot....so of course we ended up buying some snacks.
It was about time we got into the "holiday spirit" right?
Thanks for reading!