PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
The Yakitori (literally meaning grilled chicken) way of cooking began in Japan in the 1800's when the bird was far from poultry in price and considered luxury eating. Eddie Ye, owner of Yakitori Takumi, further informs that the Japanese have the Portuguese to thank for introducing both the chook and the tempura style of cooking to Japan. Malaysian born Eddie is as well stocked with culinary titbits as his bar is with premium Japanese brews; so bring your taste for either, perch yourself on a stool and allow Mr Ye to share them with you. He is likely to be manning the grill (behind the bar) simultaneously so this is opportunity to busy yourself with 14 varieties of sake or 21-year-old Hibiki Suntory whisky.
Eddie's menu begins with the once coveted chook available in various preparations. Succulent thighs are wrapped in Japanese basil, shiso (herb) and served with plum sauce; livers and hearts are double-dipped in the traditional yakitori glaze, tare (honey, mirin, sake and soy). Serves are three skewers of bite-sized pieces, fun shared around a booth with friends. Richer meats include pork belly, rosemary-salted and lemon-peppered. Jasmine tea smoked duck is suitably flavour-matched with orange miso sauce and for true fans its gizzards are plated up and seasoned with herb salt. When the only thing coming between the ingredients and diners is a simple barbecue grill, quality produce needs to speak up for itself. This is why Eddie chooses Mayura Wagyu beef (with a marbling score of 9+) to do the talking on his skewers. Fried crumbed oysters will lure seafoodies and octopus inside puffs of tempura batter is a must. Do not fret if you have not finished your chosen tipple. Eddie practises the cosy gesture of "bottle keeping". Yours will be named and saved behind the bar for "next time."