When it comes to premium yakitori, nowhere does it better than grillmaster supreme Yoshiteru Ikegawa’s brilliant Torishiki. No place is harder to reserve, either. Which is why it was such good news when Torioka, his new offshoot, opened last autumn.
Not only is the location more central — in the heart of Roppongi Hills, no less — Torioka is also more stylish and, for the time being at any rate, much easier to book. And while Ikegawa himself is not there stoking the glowing Binchotan charcoal with his large white fan, the man at the helm is his longtime assistant, Noriyuki Kurosaki, so you know you will be in safe hands.
There are two sittings each evening, offering a fixed menu of 11 skewers, rounded off with excellent claypot rice. Kurosaki uses the same quality Date Shamo chicken, and offers most of the Torishiki favorites, including the classic, umami-rich atsuage (deep-fried tofu), though those hoping for chōchin (unlaid egg yolk) will be disappointed.
To reduce the waiting time between skewers, Torioka also has a secondary grill installed along one side. This is currently manned by another of Ikegawa’s trusted lieutenants, Yoshiteru Maekawa — but only until he leaves for New York to open Torishiki’s first overseas branch in June.
Set dinner menu from ¥7,300; English menu; English spoken
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5