Tori Shin, NYC 3
May 17, 2016
On April 4, 2016, Linda and I returned to Tori Shin. Kent and Amanda joined us. As we were four, we did not sit at the counter, but in a little semi-private room upstairs.
This had the advantage of privacy and an ambiance where one could talk, but, of course, we missed out on one of the main features of Tori Shin, and of any good yakitori restaurant: the kitchen theater of watching the skewers being prepared and grilled on the hot coals. You can see that in my blogpost on our last visit to Tori Shin by clicking here.
We ordered the spring sake being specially offered, Harushika Namazake—a fresh, unpasteurized sake, also known as draft sake, that breweries release in early spring.
We really enjoyed this.
We chose the ten skewer menu and added some small plates at the suggestion of our charming, efficient, helpful server. Here she is carrying a plate at the top of the stairs.
We were served crisp house made cucumber and daikon pickles to go with the sake in its apéritif phase.
The small plate appetizer was
Broiled Sea Urchin with garlic.
The uni, or sea urchin, had been spread thinly on a metal pan, topped with pink peppercorns and garlic greens, then lightly broiled. We used it as a spread on the toast rounds. Nice.
We each received a bowl of grated daikon, which stayed on the table and could be used to freshen any course.
Our first skewer was
These had some char on the outside and were still nicely pink and moist inside.
Breast Meat with Plum & Shiso
The uncharred, moist white meat had a mild flavor enhanced by the shiso leaves and the excellent plum sauce.
This typical Japanese custard was flavored with mushroom slices, greens and gingko nuts on the bottom.
Skewers of cherry tomatoes and whole chicken hearts were served together.
The grilling really brought out the sweetness in the cherry tomatoes, providing a nice combination with the distinctive flavor of the chewy grilled chicken hearts.
Sot l’y Laisse (Chicken Oyster)
This tender breast meat benefitted from its charring.
The shiitake mushrooms benefitted from their grilling as they were meaty and fresh. Kent commented: “Buttery, but not so much that it crossed the line into being heavy.”
Breast Meat with Home Made Spicy Miso
The miso marinade enhanced the charring of these breast meat pieces and added a touch of spice.
Root of wing
The most flavorful meat is supposed to be next to the bone. This was Kent’s favorite skewer.
The small potato had a good flavor of its own and absorbed some more from its grilling.
Once again a delicious char was achieved.
Our skewers had collected in their cup.
There was no rice course with this menu so we ordered a couple of desserts. The first was slices of charred spring bamboo shoots.
Three crèmes brûlées: green tea, black sesame and hojicha, roasted green tea.
A good finish.
On the way out I took this photo of the main dining room with late diners watching the grilling from the counter.
We enjoyed our evening a lot. I was surprised by how different it was from our last visit to Tori Shin. Most of the skewers were different. I missed the duck this time, which had featured in two of our skewers last time. It chars beautifully. The biggest difference, of course, was in the ambiance; we could relax in our private room and enjoy conversation with the meal. The pace was a little slower, but it moved along nicely. The ambiance seemed to encourage sake drinking, which was also a feature of the table of Japanese businessmen on the other end of our floor. Our server was attentive and always kept our glasses full, along with serving the meal.
To see our previous meal at Tori Shin click here.