Yakitori Dining Etiquette 101

Updated: Dec 5, 2018

Random cravings for yakitori yet not sure where to get them? Indeed, not just every Japanese restaurant in the mall directory offers these mouth-watering sticks. Yakitoris are often only available in Izakayas or Yakitori speciality restaurants since they require a special cooking method to bring out their taste and keep the inside juicy. These delicious skewers come in salt (shio) or terriyaki sauce (tare) seasoning and are usually grilled over a grate without the wired grid by "Binchotan" (special charcoal) or normal charcoal at extremely high temperatures (1,000 degrees celsius).

Presented by Ikura's very enticing skewers ($1-$3.50), note these 2 steps before you start chomping away.

Step 1: You must ONLY eat the sticks starting from left to right. Haha I'm just kidding. There's no specific rule for the eating order but it is recommended that you start off with the lighter flavoured sticks first! For example you can choose the grilled shiitake mushrooms or vegetables wrapped in meat.

From Ikura's tasty platter, I took a bite off their pork belly-wrapped asparagus, which is their signature stick! The taste is undoubtedly light since the asparagus is refreshing with a tinge of sweetness to it. Indeed a right move to kick start your appetite.

Moving on to the richer flavoured sticks, such as the can't-miss-out chicken balls when you eat yakitori. Ikura's chicken balls skewer is my personal favourite out of the whole platter! Dipped in generous teriyaki tare, the chicken balls offer a savoury taste with sweetness to it. The chicken is extraordinarily tender and soft I thought they made the chicken go through spa!

Yes you guessed correctly! The fattiest stick should be left to the last if we were to follow this taste sequence. You can keep the pork belly skewers to the last. Yakitoris can also be enjoyed with sake. Can't resist your favourite stick to follow through the taste sequence? Well, remember this is just a recommended eating method so no one's stopping you!

Step 2: This one is easy for some yet difficult for others. EAT THE YAKITORI BY THE SKEWER. Even if it is for convenience, do not detach the yakitori from the sticks and eat from your plate. Just do it to get the best out of your experience! It's the same as eating chicken wings with your hands than with fork and spoon. The formal will unexplainably taste much better! Maybe it's a psychological thing since you have to go through discomfort with your bare hands to taste the juicy meat.

Furthermore it is only respectful to eat them by the skewers after the hard work that the chefs have to go through to skewer the meat piece by piece the night before and grill them meticulously just for you! Yes, this is Yakitori Dining Etiqutte No. 1 !

No. 2 - DO NOT HURRY WITH THE PERSONAL SEASONINGS. Yes yes, some of you sauce obsessed people will die if you don't put chilly/soy sauce/ ketchup(?) on your food before you put it into your mouth BUT please Chotto Matte and hold your hand back for this. You should take a bite off the yakitori the way it is served to you first. Yes, this is also to show respect and recognition for the chef's effort. They prepared the sticks with patience and love so of course they would want you to taste it the way it was served. Only when the taste is still not to your preference then you can carry on with creating your personalised seasoned sticks.

The yakitoris offered at IKURA sure took my breath away! Go and try them out with these Ettiquttes and let me know if your Yakitori experience is a better one now! Or if you prefer sashimi, check out my other review for IKURA as well!

Check out my media tasting video here! Like & Subscribe to J Passport's Facebook page for more news & deals in the future (:

Reviewed by: @_shixuanxuan


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Address: 150 South Bridge Road, #01-14 Fook Hai Building, Singapore 058727 Tel: (65) 6532 6656

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