One of the greatest things about Japan is the food. The quality, the care and thought that goes into producing it, cooking it, presenting it and of course – eating it. These are all cultural touchstones that make Japanese food one of the world’s great treasures and one of the main reasons for visiting and living in Japan.
Truth be told however, it can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming to the newcomer who hasn’t had time to fully engage with Japan’s food culture. Some people get it right away, others need time and help navigating the little plates of yummy that lie behind the discrete, dimly lit doorways of some of Japan’s most traditional looking facades.
That is one reason we bring to your attention Yakitori Kisshou. An upscale yet reasonably priced restaurant housed within the walls of a 100 year old house located in the historic Hokkejicho district of Higashisakura. The area is littered with temples and nagaya that have managed to escape the ravages of war and tumult.
And while Kisshou may be stylish and sophisticated, it is very open and welcoming – especially to foreign patrons. Not only do they have an English menu, but several of their staff speak English as well.
Which brings us back to the food. Yummy charcoal-grilled goodness served to you on skewers and carefully presented. At first when you sit down you will be given a traditional otoshi (starter dish) – such as a parma ham salad – that you can enjoy while perusing their menu.
Here every ingredient is strictly selected and grilled with the best “hiire” artisanal skills to offer up the most savory yakitori you have ever tasted. This is especially true when it comes to the menu items featuring chicken. Here they serve the famous Nagoya Cochin chicken, which is a local delicacy and some really tasty stuff. Enjoy fukurahagi (green onion and thigh meat), sunagimo (chicken gizzard), teba (chicken wings), and tsukune (chicken meatballs) amongst the many other chicken dishes available.
They also serve up siratama (quail eggs), shishitou (sweet peppers), ikanegi (green onion) and tomatoes all grilled carefully over Kishu bincho-tan premium charcoal.
And while you can go through the menu at your leisure you can also get some help by ordering a set of kushi (skewers) which are chosen by the chef for you. You can order sets of 6, 8 or 11 kushi depending on how many you would like to try.
Kisshou presents its food the way it makes it, with style and care. And the interior matches it perfectly. Downstairs you can sit at the counter and watch the chefs as they prepare your food, upstairs sit at tables and enjoy the rock garden or view of the temple across the street. Eating here is a great opportunity to experience accessible and enjoyable Japanese food in a warm and inviting space with staff that are ready to welcome you in English.