Tokyo Bird is ruling the roost with a focus on hot-right-now Japanese whisky and yakitori sticks.
January 15, 2022
If you're a fan of Japan's top-notch scotches, head to Tokyo Bird for a selection of premium imported whiskies and tasty meat-sticks, formally known as yakitori. In the izakaya tradition, this dimly lit den is all about the drinks, coupled with a savoury snacking menu to ensure you don't get too tipsy and disgrace the family name.
Japanese whisky has well and truly taken off, with bar managers across the globe updating their drink menus to reflect the increasingly legitimate entrant to the new wave of nations getting in on the spirit and delivering it at a world-leading level. Tokyo Bird is well positioned to cater to the trend, with a selection of more than 25 imported Japanese whiskys.
One of the most notable tipples is the award-winning Yamazaki. The 12-year-old offers up a delicate dram with tropical notes and teasing spice, while the 6-10-year-old Yamazaki Distillers Reserve is mild with hints of vanilla and Japanese oak (mizunara). Other selections from the Suntory range include the Hibiki 12-year-old or 21-year-old, or you can try the toffee tasting pure malt from the Nikka Distillery.
If you have mixed feelings towards whisky, there's also Asahi Super Dry and Asahi Black tap (the Black brew has a sunny flavour belying its sinister black colour).
For snacks, get stuck into the sticks. Yakitori is traditionally made with chicken, and you can choose from thigh, wing, liver, heart or giblet skewers, all marinated in a sweet soy tare (sauce) and imbued with smoke from the charcoal grill. A Japanese arabiki cheese sausage skewer is particularly tasty, much like a fancy kransky (if such a thing exists — which it most definitely does). The white cabbage salad with sesame dressing makes a refreshing side dish and palate cleanser, or for a casual bar snack you can't go past a bowl of crispy fried renkon (lotus root) chips with spicy mayonnaise.
With whiskys aplenty, but not many seats, it pays to be an early bird at Tokyo Bird.
Images: George Hong
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