Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yakitori Izakaya

A final post before I take off to Hanoi for a couple of weeks for some sightseeing and serious eating.

Peter's parents arrived this week to join us for our holiday this year, so our first trip was to Tokyo, of course! Our first dinner, however, had to be in Fujisawa, at our favourite yakitori restaurant, Sui Sui.

Yakitori, simply, is chicken on a stick. Traditional yakitori places are easily found near train stations everywhere by looking for their trademark haze of chicken grease smoke. They serve up all parts of the chicken, from wings, to hearts, to bits of chicken cartilege, and cold draft beer to weary salarymen on their way home. The chicken sticks are grilled over hot charcoal, which gives them a smoky, fatty taste that goes perfect with beer.

Sui Sui, however, is a more of an izakaya-style bar which serves not only chicken on a stick, but a wide array of other snacks as well. When we arrived, we ordered a range of things for John and Wendy to enjoy.

When we sat down, the first thing up was an unordered dish - the house serves one automatically, as a kind of table charge, in case you weren't planning on eating much. This is annoying to a lot of foreigners, but at Sui Sui, it's always tasty, and since we don't have to tip, I don't mind it at all. This was some soy braised chicken tossed with onions, peppers, and mizuna leaf. I've got to figure out how to make this one at home.

Next, a traditional summer snack - edamame, or soy bean pods, boiled in salt water. Just the thing with cold beer! We also tried some pork belly with kimchi - I'm on the record as say that pork and kimchi are one of the world's finest flavour combinations, along with tomato and basil, and peanut butter and chocolate.

A more traditional take is chicken thigh and negi - a kind of Japanese leek, grilled simply with salt. Fantastic!

Not-so-traditional potato wedges - fried and then drenched in garlic butter. Don't knock it, 'til you've tried it! It's a good thing we spent the whole day walking, though.

A little more crazy - mochi (pounded sticky rice balls) wrapped in bacon, brushed with soy and mirin, topped with cheese and black pepper, and grilled. Un-%^&*ing-believably good.

Finally, a favourite of many foreigners in Japan - tsukune - chicken and green onion meatballs, grilled with more soy and mirin. They also do a ponzu citron sauce as well, which we always forget to order.

This is one of my favourite places to go and have a quick drink and a bite to eat. They also have a selection of awamori - Okinawan rice spirits, which John swore tasted like the potato moonshine he used to make in P.E.I. Wendy was happy with her ponzu and ume wine, and as for me, two cold Ebisu drafts were all I needed to rehydrate. A perfect night!


Canadian Bento said...

Oh my god, that looks amazing! Questions - why don't you have to tip? What did John and Wendy think of all that? The potato wedges look amazing!

Take lots of pics and have fun in Vietnam!!!!

incognito-rico said...

That looks amazing - especially the cheesey rice balls. Mmmm.

Canadian Bento said...

I'm over excited to hear about the food from your recent adventure!!

Bill said...

Greetings! I just found your blog as I was researching our day trip to the Kamakura area.

Shi Shi sounds amazing and I would like to eat there. Do you happen to have the address/is it near the Fujisawa station? If so, do you also have the names of the foods you described? Like the potato wedges, for example. Although I might just print out a copy of your pictures as they are great.