Bird Land is a Michelin 1-star restaurant and I happened to chance upon them while checking out Japan’s “OpenTable” – an online reservation website. Most of the other famous restaurants in Japan do not accept internet reservation. Realised that this place allows reservations through the “OpenTable” site, therefore made a dinner reservation to have some Yakitori as a light dinner.
The restaurant is located at basement of a building but is relatively easy to find as its linked to a Metro linkway underground.
We didn’t realised that another Michelin 3-star restaurant – Sukiyabashi Jiro, was located right opposite Bird Land. There was much hype about Sukiyabashi Jiro but I’ve also heard the stringent “unofficial” requirements imposed on customers who wish to dine there. In order to get a reservation you’ll probably need to know a native Japanese who is willing to make the phone call and accompany you for the meal. Apparently little English is spoken at the restaurant and there are many “rules” to follow…imposed by Chef Jiro.
Back to Bird Land…we were given counter seats which gave us a nice view of the open-concept kitchen. We ordered a Chef’s Omakase Menu to share. First up was a set of Appetizers comprising of 2 seasoned vegetables, Jellyed Gizzard and Vinegared skin. Interesting way of preparing the gizzard and skin of the chicken~
Next was Chicken Liver Pate which was smooth and nice~
Call us “dense” or watever…but somehow it only struck us now to relate to what the restuarant name had implied! We would be eating almost every possible parts of a chicken tonight in Bird Land…
Up next were 8 sticks of yakitori (up to Chef to decide for us) interspersed with more Appetizers plus 1 chicken dish.
- Wasabiyaki – Salt flavoured breast meat with Wasabi on top. Very simple dish but this was the first time I tried eating chicken with wasabi.
- Liver – Chewy and nice!
- Skin & Neck Meat – Juicy and tender. I have always liked chicken skin.
- (Appetizer) Tofu – Using special tofu, salt pepper & EV olive oil on top. The tofu was not the silky type but like curd. Abit gelard for me…
- Gingko Nuts – Very unique way of cooking them. I didn’t realise that gingko nuts could be so crunchy~
- (Appertizer) Baby leaf salad – Another refreshing break from chicken dish…
- Meat Ball – Finally something which we are more familiar with and not from some fancy parts of the chicken. Just 1 word to describe “Juicy”.
- Sanshoyaki – Another delightful piece, crispy skin and tender meat cooked teriyaki style.
- Maitake Mushroom – Lightly seasoned and didn’t taste too “mushroomy”. Great texture.
- Leg Meat with Green Onion – One of my fav for the night.
As one might have noticed, the Yakitori were not glazed with typical thick sweet sauce we have in Singapore, instead the sticks were lightly glazed and not overly sweet.
Ended the meal with Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg on rice). Seriously we were quite full by then…esp having ordered Beer to go with our Yakitori…but I did enjoy the Oyakodon.
Perhaps it was in such a casual setting that the usually formal Japanese turned friendly and a pair of Japanese seated next to us started a conversation with us using their simple English and to show our appreciation we tried to reply some greetings in our broken Japanese. We had a short but interesting conversation with them before bidding them “Oyasumi nasai”~.
We left the restaurant feeling satisfied though I wouldn’t say I was “blown away”, but it was quite good. I’m amazed by the variety of Yakitori made from different parts of a chicken and we were glad that we had the chance to try the Japanese cuisine.
Some photos taken while sight-seeing around Tokyo:
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