It’s another amazing year’s end and 2013 is upon us. Looking back, 2012 has been an exceptional year of eating, or rather, feasting. I do consider myself very blessed in many areas of life, and food is a highlight that I cannot ignore.
If I had to name my best restaurant meal of 2012, I’d be torn between so many, including but not limited to: Diva at the Met in Vancouver, Wildebeest in Vancouver, Miku in Vancouver, El Naranjo in Austin, Uchi in Austin, Barley Swine in Austin, Sevva in Hong Kong, and Esaki in Tokyo.
If forced to narrow down to just one, my best meal would have to be at a yaktori (Japanese grilled chicken) restaurant where my husband and I died and went to heaven in during our honeymoon.
When we arrived in Japan, we told our friend Nagi that we really wanted to try chicken sashimi. Unbeknownst to us, chicken sashimi is not common fare in Tokyo. She and other Tokyoites that we spoke with did not know where to get it. After some research, Nagi led us to Akira, which was a fortunate thing because we wouldn’t have been able to find this hidden gem on our own.
This restaurant that specializes in chicken is situated above a tiny creek in Nakameguro. It is considered one of the best yakitori/yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) joints in Tokyo by the locals. Needless to say, the quality of the chicken here was unparalleled and put North America’s “free-range” or even organic chicken to shame.
After crossing over a footbridge and tracing along the creek, we met with the restaurant’s dark and unassuming exterior. Once we opened the doors, a billow of sweet, meaty smoke hit our faces. We were quickly surrounded by a buzzing room filled with eager diners that sat around table top grills.
Here’s what we devoured with fervour:
As we headed back into the cold, our stomachs full and our faces blushed with sake, we felt so utterly, drop-dead blessed.
We’d like to thank all of our family, friends, and neighbours that shared in our year of eating and drinking. Food never tastes half as good without great company. Food is fine but your company is what’s worth celebrating.
Cheers to all my wonderful readers. Thanks for another year of comments, debates, and support. Here’s to another year of good health, laughter, and love. Happy new year!
Yakitori Akira 焼鶏 あきら
1-10-23 Naka-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo