When out on the town many drinking establishments in Japan offer yakitori, which is basically grilled marinated chicken on a stick. These are offered in a wide variety using different parts of the chicken, added vegetables, or different sauces, salts and spice blends.

Now Zenyaren Sohonten Tokyo is offering a one-of-a-kind type of grilled chicken called The World’s First Mega-Yakitori. This limited edition menu item is said to contain 30 times the meat of a regular stick of yakitori. This isn’t a simple case of quantity over quality either as the chicken is specially selected from regions across Japan.

Before anyone even asked him, Mr. Sato was digging out his most loose-fitting jeans and on his way to try it out.

■  Tale of the tape

This Mega-Yakitori (served with a Guinness, no less) stands at one meter (3’3”), and weighs in at 1.2kg (2.6lbs). Clearly due to its size, the Mega-Yakitori is only available in limited quantities of four on weekdays and eight on weekends from 20 July to 31 August. If you’re planning on trying one out, it’s highly recommend you call ahead.

▼The Mega versus a regular…

■  Attention to chicken detail

You’d think that with all this chicken they’d just slap on some stuff from the supermarket or worse. However, Zenyaren has carefully selected some of the finest chickens from around Japan for the Mega-Yakitori. There’s Hokkai Chicken from Hokkaido, Kawamata Shamo from Fukushima, Aizu Chicken notably from the Aizu region also in Fukushima, and Horohoro Chicken from Wakayama Prefecture. To complete the quintet of poultry we have the legendary Chosu Kurokashiwa Chicken.

■  The price is right

Naturally when looking at the size and quality of the Mega-Yakitori one would immediately worry about the price. It will run you 1,980 yen (US$20), which is rather high but if you crunch the numbers it’s about the same as buying 15 pieces of regular yakitori. This means that you would effectively be eating the volume of 30 pieces for half the price!

■  Chosu Kurokashiwa is the star of the show

Mr. Sato delighted in sampling the five different types of chicken, firmly fixed on their huge skewer, sensing a richness and sweetness not found in regularly sold chicken. The Chosu Kurokashiwa was particularly delicious. It had a firmness to it, but was also soft and yielding to the bite. The more he chewed, the more of the meat’s flavor would pour out. Even better, the chicken had no notable scent, leaving you to focus entirely on the taste itself.

■  A pure meat experience

The seasoning of the Mega-Yakitori was simply salt and pepper. This was done intentionally to allow you to enjoy the pure essence of the different meats. There are garlic pepper and yuzu salt to add if you like, but it’s not recommended by our man Mr. Sato.

He does recommend, however, that you get over to Zenyaren and try one of these bad boys out. And don’t forget to call ahead if you do!

Shop information

Zenyaren Sohonten Tokyo
B2F Tokyo Sankei Bldg, 1-7-2 Ote, Chiyoda, Tokyo
5:00pm to 11:00pm on weekdays; noon to 10:00pm on weekends and holidays
Open 7 days a week

Original report by Mr. Sato Photos: RocketNews24

▼ Go big or go home.

Long yakitori is long

The Hokkai Chicken

The Kawamata Shamo

Aizu Chicken

Chosu Kurokashiwa of Nagato, Yamaguchi

Horohoro Chicken

This was one food challenge Mr. Sato could handle easily. He was even able to resist swinging the skewer at people like a light saber all night. 

[ Read in Japanese ]