Friday, June 14, 2013

Yakitori at Birdland, Tokyo

Japanese cuisine has so much to offer that every restaurant focuses on its specialty.  By doing that, the specialty is of a higher quality and close to perfection.  That's the beauty of eating in Japan.

Walking from the Tokyo Station back to the Palace Hotel Tokyo, there's an "underground world" in Marunouchi.  Almost all these financial buildings have a sort of restaurant row in their basement floors. The Marunouchi Eiraku Building has a great selection of the world's cuisine on one floor.

What looked like an unassuming yakitori restaurant from the facade actually turned out to be one of our best meals in the trip and in Japan.  Birdland is one of two restaurants.  The other in Ginza has held its Michelin stars consistently.  Here at Marunouchi, the food and service are equally Michelin worthy.

Even though we waited for our table, the service from pre-beginning to end was impeccable.  The waiter spoke to my dad in Japanese apologizing for the wait and even made sure we found a comfortable waiting area.  Suddenly his limited English ability turned flawless when he and the rest of the staff served our courses with an excellent range of English describing the dishes as though we were celebrity judges on a food show.

The service was so excellent that at the end of the meal with our last course, my mom was about to take her vitamins with the cold water.  Our waiter suddenly ran by us and yelled, "Wait!"  I stopped my chopsticks thinking he meant, "Wait, there's more food or a condiment coming."  Of course that's where my mind went.  He came back in a hurry with room temperature water, explaining it's better for my mom to take her vitamins with that degree of water.  Wow, what detail and care!

Aside from the amazing service, the atmosphere (a casual but clean wooden set up) and the food were so memorable.  All 13 courses with some of the cleanest and tastiest chicken I have ever encountered.  Each course and its progression is so well thought out and detailed.  This is a meal worth paying for and worth waiting for.

If you can't see the slide show here, check out my Flickr album: Tokyo Birdland

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