It’s easy to be disappointed by chicken restaurants.
They can have some pretty poultry offerings.
One place you can visit in full confidence however, is Jidori, a rare London spot dedicated solely to yakitori and the art of the Japanese grilled chicken skewer. Springing up in a former bridal boutique in Dalston, it occupies a breezy white space a deceptively simple (but well-stocked) bar, warm, soft-focus lighting and minimalist furniture that could have been lifted straight out of Tokyo. In the centre is the bespoke Kama-Asa shoten grill, imported from Japan while founders Natalie Lee-Joe and Brett Redman (also behind Elliot’s in Borough, and The Richmond in Haggerston), were travelling round the country for inspiration.
Off this grill they’re firing skewers that showcase each part of the bird, from thigh to heart, seasoned with delicate Japanese flavours like minty shiso leaves. There’s veggie options too, like king oyster mushrooms and miso-buttered aubergine if livers-on-sticks isn’t quite your thing.
To accompany your skewers, there’s a spread of side dishes like scotch eggs with katsu curry dip, salmon tataki, pickle platters and udon noodles served with a cured egg yolk perched tentatively on the side – or you can put your meal in the hands of
fate your chef with the omakase menu, which highlights their favourite dishes. Either way, you can top off your umami-fest with the house dessert, which combines a soft ball of ginger ice cream with miso caramel, sweet potato crisps and black sesame praline scattered over the top.
And to wash it all down? There’s a cocktail list that perfectly complements the Japanese theme, with ingredients like yuzu and shiso making a reappearance, as well as a succinct but well-chosen introduction to Japanese craft beers, sakes and whiskies – including a tangy house-made umeshu.
Unless you’re chicken.
NOTE: Jidori is open for lunch Wed-Fri and dinner Mon-Sat. You can reserve on their website HERE.
Jidori | 89 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
And now you’re perfectly placed for a drink at Tony Conigliaro’s new bar…