I’ve been on a Yakitori kick these days. Sure it’s just chicken, but it’s also so much more! There’s nothing quite like sitting at the counter, watching the chef roast your skewer over hot coals as he fans the flames and smoke rises from the cinders. Omoide Yokocho, which also has the less-appetizing name Piss Alley, can be fun, but it’s swarming with tourists. If you’re looking for something a little more exclusive and intimate, head to Meguro where, nestled away on a side street is Torietsu.
Torietsu is a gem of a spot where yakitori and Japanese whiskey come together, literally, as a family. The restaurant is run by Tsuyoshi Suzuki, who, this year, fulfilled his dream of running his own eatery with his father. The son spent the last 5 years in training, working at a different yakitori shop and waiting for the right time. That time finally came when his father retired from the famed Hotel Okura after working as a bartender for 45 years. Together, they opened Torietsu in May of 2017.
The eatery stocks over 80 varieties of whiskey, many from Japan, but also from other countries. They source all of their jidori chicken from Kumamoto and the son’s grilling, combined with the father’s whiskey selection, makes for an unforgettable pairing. And the courses are reasonably priced: one at 3,000 yen and the other at 5,000 yen. The counter sits 8 and there 2 other tables that sit 8 more: small, but intimate.