yakitori at genpachi

Last night, my convo with Boo-chan went like this (of course in Japanese):

  • Boo: What do you want to eat tonight?
  • Me: I dunno what I feel like.
  • Boo: You can choose tonight, it’s up to you.
  • Me: Okay, how about (Boo interupts me)
  • Boo: Let’s eat YAKITORI (the tv was on a food show with yakitori)!!!!
  • .

So yakitori  it is! But the place we wanted to go to in the hood, closes early, so I we needed to find a new place. For those who don’t know yakitori (焼き鳥) is skewered grilled chicken. It can also be referred to as kushiyaki (串焼き) which refers to skewered grilled food, including chicken.  Luckily, Ree-O suggested a great place, so we all decided to meet up for a late night din din in Shimokita (下北沢 Shimokitazawa).

Shimokita is definitely a trendy spot for young people–similar to Harajuku (原宿) but less crowded. The atmosphere is laid back with various cafes,  fashion boutiques, bars, music venues, antique shops, and second hand record stores. It has many narrow alleys that can only discovered on foot. It’s like a mini adventure with many places to explore.


1. We went to Genpachi (串焼き 源八 本店), Ree-O has been going here with her family for many years, so I knew it was going to be great!  2. They have outdoor counter seating, which would be perfect in warmer weather.

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1. Inside was small but very cozy with the wood interior.  2. We sat at the counter, thank god because people were smoking at the tables.  3. They had many “bottle-keeps” there, so I could tell they have a strong list of regular clientele. A bottle-keep is when you buy and store a bottle of alcohol at a restaurant or bar, and can drink it freely.

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1. They had many types of yaki-tori on the menu. We ordered many types of yakitori starting with saezuri (さえずり), which is meat from the neck of the chicken. It’s supposedly the most delicious part of the chicken. You squeeze fresh lemon juice on it. Very tender and quiet tasty!

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Next we had the standard takitori-seiniku (正肉) which is the thigh area. 1. Ree-O and I ordered it seasoned with salt (塩). 2. And we all had it with a sweet tare sauce ( タレ).  3. Boo-chan scarfing down his chicken!!

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1. I ordered bacon wrapped asparagus (アスパラベーコン巻き). It was a little on the salty side but still tasted really good. 2. Boo-chan likes chicken skin (革 kawa) so he ordered in tare sauce. To me that is a heart-attack on a stick. hahahah. (but if it was fried and crispy maybe I would eat it. hahahah)

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I love tsukune (つくね) with tare sauce. It’s a Japanese like meatball served with the yolk of a raw egg (黄味 kimi).  So good!! 2. Grilled potato wedges with butter and roe of pollock (じゃがバター明太焼き).

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1. We ordered some grilled veggies too first we had green peppers (ししとう).  2. I love shiitake mushrooms (しいたけ), so I had to order them.

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1.  Then we ordered  black pork (黒豚バラ串), chicken and onion (ねぎま),  breast cartilage (ヤゲン), and chicken heart (ハツ).  2. Next was chicken with pickled plum and shiso(ササミうめしそ) . The chicken breast was so fresh it was served medium rare. It was delish (but can’t deny, at first I was scared to eat rare chicken meat). 3. Ree-O and her chicken!

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1. I don’t really like natto at all (smells like dirty feet to me), so Ree-O and Boo-chan had natto wrapped in seaweed (納豆巻き) and the middle skewer was meat in between chicken liver and heart (ひも). 2. The chef was making the natto maki.

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1. I ended the meal with this  aburage filled with mushroom and cheese (キノコきつねチーズ揚げ). It was good but a little too rich for me. 2. Ree-O and Boo-chan had chicken soup with rice (鳥スープ茶漬). It was warm and filing.

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  Look at all the skewers we ate–soo00 MANY!!


This meal was soooo satisfying. It have been a while since Boo-chan and I last ate yaki-tori so it was really good. Hopefully we will eat it again soon. Do you like chicken skewers? What do you like to grill your chicken with?


ms fancy pants tokyo


  • Genpachi (串焼き 源八 本店)
  • 2-13-14 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku Tokyo
  • 1F Wells Shimokitazawa
  • Mon-Sun 17:00-24:00
  • 03-5430-2343

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