Ginza Torishige, Tokyo

April 2, 2013

Ginza Torishige is celebrating its 82nd birthday this year. It occupies two crowded floors in a building one block south of the Ginza. Linda and I went for dinner on March 22, 2013.

We were seated at the counter on the second floor. We could watch the two yakitori chefs in front of us, but had little contact with them as there was a glass screen in front of the charcoal fire. It kept the smoke out of the narrow dining area, probably designed before modern ventilation systems were available.
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We ordered the Ji-dori menu, which included specialties of the house; what we were served varied somewhat from the description.
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A bowl of crudités as an appetizer was put on the counter along with two large scallions and a spicy red sauce to be eaten along with the yakitori skewers. There was also a bowl of grated daikon radish to be used as a sauce for the poultry.
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Then came a tray with special black peppers and a wooden tube for putting used skewers.
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We ordered a half bottle of sake, which would be followed by three others.
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Most of the festive diners were drinking large glasses of the house sake poured from a teapot that was frequently filled from magnum bottles. It looked slightly effervescent.

Our first plate had a skewer of butterflied chicken thighs that was nicely charred and really delicious. Next to it were chunks of duck breast interleaved with leeks. Surprisingly to me, the fattier duck didn’t char as well as the chicken. On the right were gingko nuts.
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Then we each received a square bowl with two grilled mushrooms.
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The next plate had skewers of chicken meatballs and what was described as the best meat from the best chickens.
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Very good.

We then had a bowl of chicken curry rice, a soup and a finishing cup of tea.
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The meal was delicious and fun. The pace was just right. The genial English speaking waitress helped us a lot. We are glad we went.

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