Tori Tama

The Tokyo-hailing yakitori restaurant finds a home in Ekkamai. 

Average: 5 (1 vote)

This Tokyo-born yakitori (chicken skewer) specialist prides itself on using virtually every part of the chicken, including delicacies like misaki (hen’s tail) and “chicken oyster” (the dark meat close to the thigh). The space resembles a sleek omakase sushi restaurant, with its open kitchen, blond-wood, U-shaped counter and glass display cases, while a little door near the entrance grants access to the next door sister sake bar, Orihara Shoten.

Tori Tama in Shirokane, Tokyo, is a neighborhood yakitori (chicken skewer) joint with a difference. Awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2016, the restaurant offers the widest range of chicken parts you’ve ever seen. Advance reservations there are a must.

While most yakitori places stick to breast, thigh, wings, gizzard and liver, Tori Tama serves virtually every part of the chicken including delicacies like misaki (hen’s tail, B120) and “chicken oyster” (the dark meat close to the thigh, B120)—a menu of some 28 parts, not including specials (chicken sashimi, anyone?). The Nov 2016 opening in Bangkok follows branches in Singapore and Hong Kong to go with the three in Tokyo.

Here, your skewers are grilled over largely smokeless bincho-tan charcoal in an open kitchen right before you. With its blond-wood, U-shaped counter and glass display cases, the place resembles a sleek omakase sushi restaurant. Here, too, you can leave it up to the chef with one of three o-susume menus (5, 7 or 10 skewers plus sides and dessert, B300/B450/B600).

With skewers starting from just B60, though, it’s just as easy to take the a la carte route. Plus, you have the guidance of two colorful labelled chicken illustrations on the wall. We’re amazed how they do so much with seemingly so little: a sprinkle of salt or a subtle miso paste working wonders. From the lightly charred, oh-so-juicy thigh (B60) to the crisp, slightly caramelized hen’s tail, or the unbelievably smooth liver (B80), the chicken is so good it outshines the premium-priced wagyu (B290).

A side dish of mixed pickled vegetables (B150) makes for an excellent palate cleanser between skewers. There’s also a limited selection of salads and rice bowls, including the flavor-packed Tori Tama donburi (B170/B270), a rice bowl which comes with a poached egg, ground chicken and grilled chicken thigh topped with shredded nori strips for a tinge of sweetness.

Like the Singapore branch, Bangkok’s Tori Tama comes paired with sister sake bar Orihara Shoten, which is  accessible through a little door near the entrance. That means you’ve basically got the best selection of sake and shochu in town (from B180/glass) to go with the best yakitori—even if Bangkok, outside of Sukhumvit’s Japanese salarymen, hasn’t totally caught on yet. Corkage B500

Venue Details
Address: Tori Tama, Park Lane, 18 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekkamai), Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-382-0141
Area: Ekkamai
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: BBB
Open since: November, 2016
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 5-10pm
Reservation recommended, Parking available
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