A high-end yakitori restaurant serving the premium and coveted Kobe Takasaka chicken, which features an exclusive distribution to a limited number of restaurants in Japan. With a wide range of experience focused on Japanese cuisine, Adore Shinohara, the chef-owner at Yakitori Shinohara offers a slow-paced course alongside a well-curated selection of sake and utensils in his elegant space.
Located on Stars and Stripes Street, a quiet street in Nishi-Azabu that is also home to many well-known restaurants, it is an area frequented by gourmets with a grown-up taste. The atmospheric exterior of the restaurant features a signboard by Yuna Okanishi, a calligrapher whose typeface Shinohara fell in love with and requested for the restaurant. Upon entering, an L-shaped counter made with a 2,000-year-old cypress tree from the Mitsumine Shrine in Saitama Prefecture enters sight. In the center of the counter, a custom-made copper plate hood made by a copper craftsman shines brightly. There are 14 seats at the counter where the skilled chefs perform, providing live entertainment. Outside the glass wall, green Japanese maple tree leaves and Date-crowned stone create beautiful scenery. The door handles at the entrance and the water faucet in the restroom also make use of Date-crowned stone.
Shinohara wants everything in the restaurant to be of the highest grade, from the space to the tableware. The yakitori-serving plate is an Agano pottery, featuring a glossy black texture that reflects the skewers like a mirror, exuding a dignified presence. His choice of ceramics is the works by two father-son pairs, Takashi Nakazato and Taki Nakazato of the Ryutagama in Karatsu, as well as Shiro Tsujimura and Kai Tsujimura. He is very fond of them and visits their kilns to purchase the pieces after viewing their private exhibitions.
Enjoy premium Takasaka chicken
The omakase course brings out the best of the premium Kobe Takasaka chicken, which is aged to perfection to enjoy as sashimi or yakitori. The course begins with a bowl of wonton soup or mizutaki hot pot, followed by two seasonal dishes, sashimi, raw tsukune meatballs, two grilled pieces, three kinds of vegetables, pate, cheese, tataki of breast and thigh, seven skewers, rice cooked in an earthenware pot, ramen, and ice cream. There is more than enough in the course, but many guests order extra skewers to get more taste of the premium Kobe Takasaka chicken.
The specialty is the raw tsukune meatballs, which are made by placing raw tsukune meatballs on a bed of aromatic seaweed and cooked at low temperature over charcoal, topped with kumquat marinated in soy sauce then rolled up like the negitoro maki at sushi restaurants. It has an exquisite texture that melts inside the mouth. The first yakitori pieces are served with leeks or feature a rare part that provides an impact, such as the base of the thigh. There is a well-balanced selection of skewers rotating daily for the guests to enjoy during each visit. Especially the solei and tails are rare and only two and one portions can be obtained per chicken, respectively.
Kobe Takasaka chicken is purchased whole, and all of it is aged and cut at the restaurant. When skewering, all the skin is removed and then rewrapped. On the grill, binchotan charcoal is used with distinctive grilling methods for each part of the chicken. The smoke usually flows downward on most of the grill, but at Yakitori Shinohara, it rises upward. This allows the chicken to be enveloped in a fragrant aroma. The high-fat content of the Kosaka chicken removes the salt during the grilling process, so it is applied several times. The sauce is made with Chinese seasonings to give it an impactful flavor. “There is no point if it tastes the same as other restaurants.”, comments Shinohara. Offal is served with the sauce, while other parts are served with salt.
Shinohara is also particular about his earthenware pot rice and uses seasonal ingredients to delight the guests, such as corn and homemade mullet roe in summer, matsutake mushrooms in autumn, and so on. Ice cream recipes also change monthly.
Breast, gizzard, thigh, and white liver. The white liver is served with sesame oil and salt, and the rest with wasabi and soy sauce.
2. Raw tsukune meatball
Raw tsukune meatball is made using various parts. Served with kumquats soaked in soy sauce and wrapped with seared seaweed.
There is crispy skin wrapped around on the outside, with a moist finish inside.
Served with three kinds of sauce, featuring a Chinese flavor with a strong impact.
5. Tsukune meatball
A large piece of tsukune meatball served with salt. Chopped shiso leaves are added and grilled with a rare finish.
6. Tebasaki wing
Grilled without bones and served with a squeeze of sudachi citrus.
The star ingredient is Kobe Takasaka chicken, a premium chicken raised by Hideki Takasaka, a renowned poultry farmer in Japan. The Takasaka chicken was born from a project to research and produce Bresse chicken in Japan, known as the most delicious chicken. Kobe Takasaka chicken is one of the highest quality products among them and is the only aseptic chicken in the world, developed through extensive research that can be eaten raw safely even after aging. Mr. Takasaka only distributes the chicken to his trusted chefs, making it highly exclusive. The creamy, tender, and sticky meat is often compared to that of toro tuna, as “it has an abundance of beautiful fat that tastes great raw”, as confirmed by Shinohara.
Shinohara is very particular about the other ingredients he uses at his restaurant. He makes sure to visit the producers and decides with his own eyes, as is the case for Kajitani Farm in Hiroshima for herbs and Shiranuka Rakukeisha in Hokkaido for cheese. The sudachi citrus is a seedless variety from Tokushima, which allows the juice to be squeezed without any bitterness. The quail eggs are Elle France, featuring a visibly larger size with a rich, creamy, and elegant flavor.
The wine cellar stocks the best brands of wine, mainly from Burgundy. Its wide variety includes natural Italian wines, such as Radikon. The sommelier selects seven wine pairings by the glass for an exquisite marriage of wine and chicken dishes.
The sake selection includes hard-to-find brands such as Jyuyondai and Jikon. Sake sommeliers are on hand to select sake that goes well with the dishes, while considering the guests' personal taste.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000