11 April 2007

Chicken Knees!

My project in NY was extended, giving me two more weeks in the Big Apple. It was a good thing since I had several restaurants on my list that I still hadn’t tried. One restaurant in particular, a Japanese Yakitori place, was reputed to have the best chicken in the world...

I had been hesitant to try it because I remembered when I was in Japan, seeing people eating severely undercooked chicken and cringing with thoughts of salmonella. I can be very adventurous with seafood, given all of its interesting flavors and textures, but chicken? Would the risk be worth the reward for such a boring meat?

With just a touch of apprehension, I found the sign for Yakitori Totto hanging on a little door leading to a long, somewhat dark stairway. At the top of the stairs, I was warmly greeted in Japanese, given a seat at the bar, and began one of my most fun and tasty culinary adventures yet.

Yakitori Totto is known for its grilled chicken knees, so I quickly flipped through the extensive menu until I came to the page describing the available skewers of chicken parts. They offered grilled tail, soft knee bone, neck, heart, gizzard, and liver, along with many of the more common chicken parts like thigh & breast. I decided to start with the knees, neck, and heart, and then tried some breast and tail. I was absolutely amazed at how much chickeny goodness they were able to pack into a little skewer of neck or tail meat.

As I sat at the bar, listening to a Nora Jones CD playing in the background, sipping my Kirin draft, and watching the chef who was very intently monitoring his skewers to ensure grilled perfection, I realized just how much I love the Japanese. Who else could turn simple grilled chicken skewers into something this flavorful and exotic?

Yakitori Totto
251 W. 55th Street, near Broadway
212-245-4555

In my final weeks on the project in NY, I also had the opportunity to experience the best Indian food I’ve ever had at:
Diwan
148 E. 48th Street, near 3rd Ave
212-593-5425

1 comment:

Zoe said...

Good for people to know.

Copyright @2005-2009 by Tamra Hale. All rights reserved.