Thursday, 28 June 2012

New York: Yakitori Totto

Finally, I am finishing my foodie entry in New York. I know I have taken so long to finish it but it cannot be helped when I was so busy with work and too lazy to do anything else!

As I mentioned before that Tee from Passports and Postcards has given lists of places to eat in NYC and Yakitori Totto was one the place people raved about. When J, my friend whom I met in Tokyo 2010, failed to recommend me places to eat during our meeting in NYC, I took the power in my hand and say we shall meet and eat at Yakitori Totto.

We got there around 6.30pm and were really lucky to be seated at last two seats the counter (counter again!). If we arrived 5 minutes later, we would have waited for at least 20 minutes!

Everyone said you must order their Yakumi Zaru Tofu so we did since both me and J are big fans of tofu. We weren't disappointed at all. The tofu itself was very soft and creamy. We had it with some bonito, grated ginger, sesame and soy sauce and it was heaven - simple food, simple taste.

After that are plates and plates of grilled meats/vegetables to satisfy our craving (and I just realised while blogging this that Gonpachi is also yakitori place so me and J always meet for yakitori somehow, even though we change countries!).

First plate came with "Ton Toro" or pork neck and "Kamo Negima" or duck with Japanese leek. The duck didn't smell so that was good enough for me. Ton toro must have been pretty medicore since I have no memory about it at all.

Next were "Negima" or chicken with Japanese leek. The grilled leek was sweet, it did compliment the chicken meat.

The left one was quite shocking; it was "Hotate" or scallops. I thought it would be bigger than these small things (I can't even describe!). So a bit of disappointment when I saw it but taste wise, it was actually quite good. They sprinkled some spices on and it did bring out sweet taste of the scallops. However, J, my Korean-born American friend, said it was too spicy for her. She really disappoints all Koreans since she can't eat anything spicy at all! The right one was my most favourite of the night - "Yaki Nasu Miso Dengaku" or grilled eggplants with miso. Their miso was divine - it mixed very well with the eggplant. I love it!

The last two are "Harami" or beef steak and "Tsukune" or minced chicken - these two were equally good. The steak ones was actually quite tender, not chewy at all.

Tori Dango


It was actually quite amazing that we were still up for ordering main course/rice dishes after those skewers. J picked up Tori Dango which was like steamed rice dumplings with chicken stuffing inside (that sounds very fancy isn't it?!). I ordered the boring Oyako-don or chicken and egg on top of the rice. My Oyako-don was too soggy. Taste wise was alright biy J's food was much more interesting.

Overall, I can see why people rave about this place. They made simple food taste good. I'd say if you are in NYC and look for real Japanese taste, this is the place. Actually, any Totto restaurant is the place for authentic Japanese cuisine. For those in Bangkok, you can visit their branch in Bangkok at J Avenue at Thong Lor and I heard it was as good as the one in New York too - Hooray!

Yakitori Totto
251 West 55th Street 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10019(Bet. 8th Ave and Broadway)

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