What’s best than a BBQ when you want to spend a pleasant evening with friends ? That’s why we decided to have yakiniku (焼き肉), or corean style BBQ. Yakiniku is very popular in Japan and specialized restaurants can be found nearly everywhere. Although it is originally a corean dish, most of those restaurants have adopted a typically japanese styled service. That’s why this time, in order to grasp the original spirit of yakiniku we chose a typically corean restaurant named ton-chan (とんちゃん, which could be roughly translated to “piglet” or “copain cochon” in french) and situated near the Ueno train station.
As its name suggests it, this place is specialized in meat pork. Its savourous meat and the loud and popular atmosphere make it a destination of choice to eat with friends. The downside of this is that we might have to queue before getting a seat, especially on friday and saturday night. Even though it was sunday night a small number of people were queuing in front of the restaurant. However, we fortunately got in pretty quickly.
Already waiting for us was a table covered by the different sauces, vegetables and such coming with the meat. We had the sweet-sour sauce and miso to dip the meat in. Salad leaves to wrap around the meat, chili and sesame flavourd bean sprouts to go with the meat and kimuchi style pickled daikon (だいこん, giant radish), particularly delicious.
The meat is then ordered by plates and different types are available. It comes in long slices that will be grilled on the hot plate by the staff. We ordered two types of meat : thick and fatty slices of ham and more delicate slices of filet.
The staff then attends at all the clients together to turn the meat and cut the slices into pieces that can be eaten in a single moutful.
Once the pieces are well-done we can eat them. This is done by taking a tasty looking piece of grilled meat directly on the grill, dip it in the sweet-sour sauce and put it in a leaf of salad together with the bean sprouts. Finally the whole is dipped in the miso and eat it. An explosion of taste in the mouth. All the ingredients combine perfectly together to make a wonderful dish that I strongly recommend to try if you come around here.
We came out the restaurant full, happy and ready to enjoy my first karaoke since winter. See you next meal.
Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine…