Friday, September 23, 2011

Kikufuji: The Best Yakitori in Little Tokyo

The Dude's blood test results are in, and there are improvements. Blood sugar levels are lower, total cholesterol levels are still above the normal ranges but significantly lower than the previous test (couldn't live without some butter, mayo and bacon, I mean, you just can't). But still, a pretty good sign. And now for some real good eats...and I'm thinking Japanese. Something light, something healthy...and Yakitori comes top-of-mind.  And you're off to Little Tokyo...

Aaah Sake...but not tonight. Long drive home...

Came in early, tables were still being set-up...
If you're looking for great Yakitori and other authentic Japanese favorites, head on down to Little Tokyo and look for Kikufuji. The guys here at Kikufuji serve some of the best skewered meats in the area. Like many establishments in Little Tokyo, Kikufuji is Japanese owned, and is frequented by Japanese expats. It's a sure sign that you're getting the real deal.
Start with a Kani (Crab) Salad...
followed with some sashimi...
...and then some Eihire, or lightly grilled stingray (yup, stingray) with Japanese Mayo...and another cold beer.
And lastly, some grilled Japanese Choriso. These sausages are light with a nice heat that just slowly builds up, perfect with a cold beer.
The yakitori selection is impressive, and available in salted (Shio) and sweet Tare versions. Go for the soft-boned chicken (chicken cartilage or Nankotsu), beef tongue (Gyutan), pork belly (Butabara), liver  (Reba) and the asparagus wrapped in bacon. Like they say, anything with bacon should be good.  I particularly like the salted yakitori, as the salt really brings out the flavor. For those who want something sweeter, the Tare version which is glazed with Mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar might be the one for you. Try both versions and see what you like. 

Here are the Tare variations, brushed with a sweet sauce, of Chicken Skin (Torikawa), Beef Tongue (Gyutan), Chicken Wings (Tebasaki) and Liver (Reba).
For small groups, stay in the bar counter area, and take a look at what the Japanese expats order. The establishment also has a large smoking dining area at the back, while the front dining area is for non-smokers. But the real action seems to be in the back dining area, the smoking section, where most of the expats congregate. And it's also interesting to see what the expats order. Just look for Baby, the ever friendly waitress, to answer all your questions.

The overall look and feel of Kikufuji resembles most of the small food establishments in Tokyo, small, a bit cramped, somewhat noisy and even chaotic, but great authentic Japanese food. With so many Japanese expats filling up up Little Tokyo, you can't help but feel like you are in Tokyo which really adds to the whole Little Tokyo experience. Like all other establishments in Little Tokyo, you receive coupons for complimentary San Miguel Draft Beer for your next visit. Now that alone can be a great incentive to drop by Little Tokyo.

Parking, as always, can be difficult, so try to come in early. There are pay parking options in Makati Cinema Square if Kikufuji's front parking is already filled up, which is the usual case. Once in, just take in the atmosphere and vibe, and be immediately transported to another place. All  this in a little spot in the busy Makati commercial and business district. Nice.  Gotta take my hypertension meds tonight...
The remains of the day...
For inquiries and reservations, call 893-7319 or 893-6131.

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  1. All dishes look so delicious! I can even smell them :-)!

  2. Oh my goodness! All of your photos are stunning! I am craving all of these and it's not even noon lol Thanks for sharing. Now off to check out some more posts of yours. Have a wonderful day =]

  3. Hey Free Spirit Eater, thanks for dropping by. Have a great day!

  4. It has been so long since I have been to a decent Japanese restaurant! These dishes look awesome, no doubt you enjoyed it. You have inspired me to scout around now for a Japanese restaurant to go to. Yum-great pics.

  5. Thanks Tina! I really did enjoy it, though they come in deceptively small plates, it was pretty filling! Let me know how your search for a Japanese restaurant goes. Thanks again!

  6. that food looks so legit. stingray?!?!? i never even knew that was an option. is the texture bizarre?

  7. Hi Freddye, yup, first time we tried it too. We saw a couple of Japanese expats eating this, and we got curious. The texture is pretty much like a softer version of beef jerky, a bit salty, goes down great with a cold beer. Thanks for dropping by, Freddye!

  8. These look absolutely delicious! I'm a sucker for all food Asian. Actually all food in general, really, but this looks like exactly something I would order! (and not share ;) )

  9. Hi Christine, thanks for stopping by! I'm with you, I'm a sucker for all food as well, big time!


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