by Mei Leong
For a second there, I thought Tenkadori had shut down. It would just be my luck, which is legendary for leading me to eateries/markets/you-name-it which have packed up and long gone.
Well, I shouldn’t have been worried because the hole-in-the-wall Tenkadori doesn’t need signs or marketing. Just a charcoal grill, good vibes and great chicken are all it needs.
So on a mild Saturday afternoon, we slipped in for a quiet lunch, sniffing the sizzling smells emanating from the charcoal grill. The charcoal grill is where the action happens. The chef turns the fat sticks of chicken until they get that caramelized sweetness that comes only from patience and blistering heat.
Chicken yakitori – this is an extremely boring point but from someone who has skewered too many satay sticks to remember – the yakitoris are so evenly skewered. That takes skill.
Crispy katsu chicken.
We ordered the yakitori set lunches which includes two sticks of yakitori, rice, salad and chicken katsu.
Coated with a thin yakitori sauce, the chicken skewers were succulent, with the more-ish aroma drifting off the grill and onto our plates. Somewhere, the carnivore inside of me likes the primeval element of (elegantly) biting and unthreading the chicken pieces. The flavour of the chicken shone through the slightly sweet marinade – plump and succulent.
However, it was the katsu playing the dark horse. The hot, crispy crust, with no trace of greasiness was incredibly crunchy. The chicken was juicy, perfectly cooked lavished with fruity sauce. My only wish was I had more katsu chicken to eat!
Tenkadori is a good option for a yakitori lunch – I’m guessing Tenkadori must be popular with the weekday workforce? The prices are steeper than food court Japanese but this is another league above – specialised and authentic (plus, run by Japanese, unlike many Japanese fast food places).
We tried only a fraction of their menu – their dinner a la carte menu sounds interesting with a larger variety of grilled items. Next time I’ll be ordering me a big pile of crispy katsu chicken!
5/502 Hay Street Subiaco WA 6008
Phone: (08) 9382 2291
Open Mon – Sat 11 – late
Fully licensed and BYO
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