Tori Shin: Manhattan, New York, NY
My friend BLee recommended this place on my last visit to New York, but I couldn’t find the time to head up to Midtown West. However, this time around, my friend was working nearby and so it was just the right spot to meet up. Normally, this being her first time, I would want to take her to one of the smaller more authentic venues like Oh Taisho! However, as we were short on time and I had to return back to Harlem since it was the night before the half-marathon, this was the best bet.
Admittedly, we could only get an 830pm reservation. Given that it was a Friday night, it was almost impossible to get a same-day reservation for a decent hour. The atmosphere is truly Japanese. For one, we were surrounded by Japanese businessmen, all doing their happy hour as if we were in Japan. The best way to probably rate this would be similar to my sushi posts, notes on anything that I found to be amazing will go right below the pictures. Things that we ate included:
- wagyu beef
- duck with asparagus
- oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice)
- chicken skin with yuzu sauce
- chicken breast with yuzu
- chicken thigh with yuzu
Wagyu Beef: this was amazing. I really like a good steak, but it has to be done perfectly. This is especially so for really amazing cuts of beef as well. You can’t really get any better than wagyu. As you can see, this was cooked medium, but borderline medium-rare. It’s more rare than I’d normally like it, but it was really juicy and definitely melted in my mouth.
Duck with Asparagus: this was particularly good. You have to like duck though. It wasn’t over cooked and had the perfect amount of flavor between duck and asparagus. Asparagus has a very particular taste to it. In addition, it can be particularly hard to eat, especially if an “old” stalk is used. However, the asparagus was fresh and “crunchy”, non-fibrous. Great. The shitake mushrooms were so-so though. I almost want to say that Oh! Taisho had better grilled shitake.
Chicken: they did this perfectly. The chicken skin is of course, my favorite. However, it is really hard to keep chicken from being too dry or overcooked, especially when it comes to yakitori. It’s almost too easy to ruin, but this was done really well. The meat was actually super tender.
If you want a very luxurious type of yakitori, then this place is definitely for you. I’m not sure if I completely enjoy the fact that something that I normally find by the railroad tracks in Japan at some street izakaya is fancied up in New York. However, it is a really nice place to take an important guest. Especially for yakitori. In summary:
- wagyu beef: ****(4 stars)
- duck with asparagus: **** (4 stars)
- oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice): ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- chicken skin with yuzu sauce: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- shitake mushroom: *** (3 stars)
- chicken breast with yuzu: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- chicken thigh with yuzu: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
You can find Tori Shin at the location below. I will have to say, it is a ridiculously hard place to find. For one, it is simply a door in a white wall. I kid you not. Definitely make reservations, and they will not seat you early, even if you get there ahead of time, so don’t waste your breath. But do look them up if you’re up for throwing some cash down for some yakitori. The wagyu was delicious. Reservations can be made via Open Table.
362 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019