The Select Counter at Yakitori Torishin

New York City is home to many great yakitori spots. Places like Yaktori Totto, Taisho and Kenka are always in high demand, with waits that can last up to two hours during prime dining hours.  But one place consistently stands out above all the rest, Yakitori Torishin.

This cozy spot tucked away behind a simple awning on West 53rd Street is the only yakitori restaurant in NYC with a Michelin star.   They focus on using every part of the chicken, all organically raised and cook the meat over Kishu Binchotan, a special type of Japanese charcoal that releases large amounts of infrared rays, keeping the meat crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Torishin is comprised of three separate areas; a small sake and shochu bar up front, where guests wait for their table or enjoy a small bar omakase; a bi-level room in the rear for large groups and between the two, a small narrow bar hidden behind a curtain where the special Select Menu is served.  Here guests have the opportunity to share an intimate evening with the Chef watching as they cook and present each dish. 

The Select Menu is mainly a Chef's Omakase with guests choice of King Crab or Wagyu Beef, Rice or Ramen and choice of dessert. We had the amazing Chef Akihiko Urashi the night we dined who guided us through each dish.

To begin a delightful Homemade Asparagus and Egg Tofu amuse bouche followed by the gorgeous Sashimi Platter with baby sardine, yellowtail, grilled fish and spicy cod roe.

The first meat to arrive was a juicy Chicken Fillet served with sliced radish for cleansing the palate between each skewer.

Next Yakitori Neck Meat, Whole Heart and Main Artery served with sancho (Japanese pepper) and shichimi (Japanese spice blend).  I have never enjoyed the texture of Chicken Hearts so I passed most to my friend but I was pleasantly surprised by the Main Artery which was much softer with a deep mineral flavor unlike anything I've experienced before. 

 A5 Japanese Wagyu Beef with Potato~ this dish was phenomenal.  A5 is the highest grade given to Wagyu Beef meaning it's perfectly marbled, incredibly soft (practically melting) and decadent in the best possible way. 

Chicken Karage with creamy miso paste~ I could have eaten a whole plate of just this and have been happy. 

Cold Udon Noodle with Foie Gras and Tomato~ This was another palate cleanser between meat courses and probably the only time I will describe a dish with foie gras as refreshing. 

Iberico Pork with seasonal baby corn

Sotl'y Laisse  (Chicken Oyster)

Chicken and Duck Meatball

Yuzu Shio Ramen

And to finish a scoop of creamy Hōjicha ice cream.

This was an excellent meal.  Chef Urashi's attention to detail and love of cooking was exemplified in each dish that was presented.  I truly felt transported from Midtown Manhattan to a tiny bar in Tokyo. There are many great yakatori spots in New York but nothing quite like the experience one will find at Torishin.

Yakitori Torishin
362 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019