Saturday, October 12, 2013

Adventure #192: Yakitori Akira 焼鶏 あきら (Tokyo)

After a day of walking through Daikanyama and Nakameguro, we decided to have dinner at Nakameguro before making our way back to our hotel. The recommended restaurant here is a yakitori restaurant called Yakitori Akira. Nakameguro is a residential neighbourhood with some up and coming boutiques. Built along a canal, it provides for a relaxing afternoon stroll before dinner.

The restaurant is not easy to find, so use the direction below. The décor was Japanese, 3 types of seating, “prized table” on the tatami, normal table or seats at the counter. We were given a table on the tatami. Nice to look at but difficult to seat. Counter seats may be more fun.

The staff speaks minimal Japanese but has an English menu. This place, as the name suggests, specialises in chicken yakitori. And unlike what we were used to, this is a DIY joint! In addition to the chicken parts for yakitori, we also had the following dishes:

This was a free starter of pickles.

Tori Momo Tataki. Chicken thigh sashimi salad made up of slices of raw chicken meat mixed with tamanegi (onion), spring onion, myoga (Japanese ginger), daikon oroshi (grated daikon), sesame seeds and yuzu ponzu (citrus juice). Never had raw chicken before and I don’t think one is supposed to eat raw chicken! But this is sort of their signature dish, so we had to try. The salad was very refreshing, I remained unconvinced about the raw chicken. Couldn’t stand the raw chicken taste. G finished the dish.

Loved this avocado sauteed in butter with shoyu. Delicious!

Yakitori DIY. We ordered the standard fare - chick thigh, chicken heart, chicken gizzard and chicken meatballs.

Onsen egg dipping for the chicken meatballs. So good!

So much fat from the chicken skin, we caused a blast!

We finished the meal with yazu and green tea iced cream.

Nice decor. The DIY thing is a novelty for us. And as a result of the DIY, food quality of yakitori depends entirely on how good a cook you are. In HK, we are used to yakitori cooked to perfection by the staff.  Food was good but we still prefer the HK style yakitori.

Yakitori Akira 焼鶏 あきら
1-10-23 Naka-Meguro
Tel: 03-3793-0051
Directions: Step out of Nakameguro station (JR Hibiya Line), cross the busy main road, and straight over the little bridge across the concrete-encased, tree-lined “river” and turn right at the izakaya with a photographic portrait of the nineteenth century samurai Sakamoto Ryōma on its façade. Walk down the riverside street passed the line of small French restaurants, izakaya and bars and then climb the pale blue pedestrian bridge and cross to the other side of the main road. At the bottom of the pedestrian bridge facing the side you were on just now, turn left, past the canal and turn left onto a small path overshadowed by a canopy of trees. Along this path (canal on your left) are arranged a variety of enticing izakaya and restaurants, but do not be distracted. Akira waits at the end of the row.


  1. Thanks for the review. From someone who's not used to eating raw chicken (never did, before), would you say it has nothing to do with the usual chicken meat that ppl rightfully fear (say in North America)? A Japanese friend told me that the chicken offered as sashimi is treated completely differently from common chicken and that anyways it is just the breast that is offered as sashimi (for eg, legs or other parts of the chicken would not be safe for eating raw). What is your take on that?

    1. I don't think raw chicken is very common even in Japan. I have friends who loved this dish but I just cannot stand the raw chicken smell (or was it the taste or was it only in my mind ), I don’t think I will try it again.