Jidori Cuisine Ken
Probably the best yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers) in town.
Jidori probably does the best yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers) in town. But before you even start to nibble on their flavorful fare, take in the atmosphere. Tucked away in a dead-end soi, Jidori has all the authenticity and log cabin charm of a great izakaya—although the service is so polished and the food’s presentation so delicate, calling this place a tavern feels a bit rude. Do book ahead but rest assured there are no bad tables: clever wood partitions create intimacy without blocking the view of the long kitchen-slash-bar. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the one poor soul who’s been assigned to flick a traditional fan at the grill’s embers all evening. Specialization clearly has its benefits, though. Thanks in no small part to the fan master, the chicken skewers—from crispy skin (B100) to wings (B70) and sori (chicken oyster, B90)—come with natural smoky notes; while their carefully timed rotation produces a crisp exterior, very little charring, and a moist, perfectly cooked interior. Produce, too, plays its part, not just in chicken dishes but in the fresh, crispy salads with such amazing finds (at least in this town) as flavorful tomatoes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these options, you can simply go for one of the set menus, from B450 (five skewers and a salad) to B1,300 (with five courses). But exploring the menu on your own can be just as fun, with intriguing items like chicken cooked rare, so tender and fresh it’s like a ball of dough (wasabi bou, B100). Does Jidori’s chicken-focus get repetitive? Not really. Whether it’s a topping of cured ham and roasted mushrooms on a salad (B280), or a flavorful chicken liver pate (B190), there’s definitely more to Jidori than just the fowls’ tender, white flesh. Naturally, there’s also good beer (including Franziskaner regular and dunkel, B260 for 500ml) and scores of different sake (B160-460 for 180ml), chuhai and sochu labels. Jidori isn’t easy to find, but the reward is an authentic atmosphere, fresh produce and impeccable execution. Corkage B500.