We find out if this yakitori chain is really worth visiting. 

Recently, our reporter Seiji Nakazawa has been digging around the interwebs, scanning social media sites for restaurants in Japan that have been attracting attention from people overseas. His latest find turned out to be particularly surprising, as it wasn’t a hidden eel joint or line-out-the-door noodle restaurant but a major chain that barely creates a blip on the radar for people in Japan.

Called Torikizoku (“bird noble”), this chain specialises in yakitori, and it’s a place Seiji has visited a number of times when he’s in the mood for reasonably priced skewered chicken. By Seiji’s standards, the chain isn’t anything out of the ordinary so it’s not a place he would go out of his way to recommend personally, but after seeing people praising the look of the yakitori online, he decided to check it out again to see if his opinion deserved re-evaluating.

▼ So he made his way to his nearest branch, in Shinjuku Sanchome.

After walking past a number of brightly lit restaurants, Seiji arrived at the Shinjuku Sanchome branch of Torikizoku, which was located in a multi-tenant building.

▼ This branch of Torikizoku is open from 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 4:00 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.

Torikizoku has over 600 stores nationwide so you’re never too far away from one, especially in a big city like Tokyo. There’s a wide variety to choose from on the menu, including liver and chicken thighs with green onions, which were the two varieties Seiji started with.

These two skewers reminded Seiji how good Torikizoku was. Everything was soft, juicy and delicious, and the quality continued with his next order, the chicken skins.

The servings were voluminous, which he appreciated, especially when it came to the soft yam teppanyaki, a delicious side dish that’s one of his favourites.

Above all, though, Seiji was impressed by the price — every dish he ordered was priced at 360 yen (US$2.52), even the “mega” jugs of beer and highballs.

▼ Fantastic value.

Another perk is the fact that Torikizoku is a great place for solo diners. Of course, it caters to large and small groups as well, but the booth seating provides solo diners with a nice sense of privacy so you can enjoy your massive jug of beer without having to worry about anyone staring at you.

So in the end, after looking at the restaurant through the eyes of a visiting tourist, Seiji realised that this was a chain worth visiting. Not only do they serve good, reliable skewers at a very good price, they also provide generous servings and comfortable seating so you can thoroughly enjoy your meal.

It’s definitely a good spot for yakitori, but if your preferences sway more to the Japanese curry side of the spectrum, there are more recommendations worth exploring!

Restaurant information

Torikizoku Shinjuku Sanchome Store / 鳥貴族 新宿3丁目店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-6-7
東京都新宿区 新宿 3丁目 6-7
Open: 5:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m. (Mon-Fri and the day before a public holiday); 4:00 p.m.-5:00.m. (Sat, Sun and public holidays)

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