Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shin Kushiya's Charcoal-Grilled Yakitori at Vivocity.

Yakitori (焼鳥), when it's done properly, is amazing comfort food. Just in case you're not sure what yakitori is: The word describes meat skewers, grilled and salted or lathered generously with sweet sauce. In our opinion, a good yakitori place needs to fulfill two conditions:

(i) There needs to be a good variety of meats and different cuts & parts; and
(ii) The skewers must be grilled over charcoal (preferably of the binchotan variety).

One place that seems to check both boxes is Shin Kushiya. This venerable Vivocity restaurant has been open since 2006, but for some shameful reason we'd never even heard about it til recently. Better late than never, though ... right?

Shin Kushiya Charcoal Yakitori

Anyways we walked up and got a table, and then placed our orders! There are a number of different yakitori sets on the menu but we ala-carte'd it all the way:

Chicken: Yakitori (dark meat), Tsukune (meatballs), Bonjiri (tail), Kawa (chicken skin) and Uzara Tamago (quail eggs)
Pork: Chizu Maki (pork-wrapped mozarella), Enoki Maki (pork-wrapped enoki mushrooms) and Buta Bara (pork belly)
Beef: Gyu Karubi (short ribs)
Others: Toumorokoshi Shoyu yaki (corn on cob), Garlic Fried Rice

Shin Kushiya Charcoal Yakitori

Overall, the yakitori was fairly good: Meats were cooked well, especially the skin & tail (our favorite yakitori parts); Certainly among the best skewers we've had in Singapore, and a big upgrade from 'stall'-type yakitori like Tori-Q. Still nowhere near the deliciousness of proper Yakitori places in Japan, though.

Oh, (dis)honourable mention needs to go to the karubi, which was so overcooked it was like eating beef jerky.

Shin Kushiya Charcoal Yakitori

The restaurant also offers up other Japanese food types like sushi/sashimi and soba noodles, which we didn't bother trying.

At a price range of around s$20-s$25/person of average appetite, our opinion is that Shin Kushiya provides average value for money. The charcoal grilling, while not being particularly outstanding, is good enough to make the restaurant our default go-to place whenever we have yakitori hankerings in the future. Reservations not really needed. Non-halal.

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