Just off the main drag in the up-market shopping district of Ginza, Tokyo, is a delightful restaurant that specialises in yakitori and tofu. The best way to get here is to take the Ginza subway line and alight at Ginza station. Take the A3 exit where 5-Chome is and keep walking straight on along Chou Dori until you arrive at the intersection of 7-Chome (if you count intersections from the station exit, it is the third one). You should pass Prada and make a left on 7-Chome. Immediately on your right, you will see Ginza Taburu Pavilion on the corner (NB: building name is not obvious at all!). The restaurant is on the fourth floor.
Its interiors are dark and there is an intimate and very private feel to the space. You can choose to be seated on the floor on cushions, or at the table, or in little cage-like rooms (reminiscent of human battery cages) which fit four. Cute.
The menu is quite extensive and offers more than chicken and tofu dishes, which is great if you like variety. We must say that the tofu is exquisite here and highly recommend the Godofu, presented in delicate squares which you dip into shoyu and grated radish. It has a slightly chewy bite and bursting with wholesome soy flavours. The chilled Tofu in soy milk is another delicacy which we find close to our hearts as it is quite similar tow hway (beancurd) that we find in Singapore, albeit creamier and savoury instead of sweet.
Moving on to chicken, we had the house specialty chicken wings done medium spicy (which were divine) and a selection of yakitori (chicken) and yakiton (pork) which you can have seasoned with teriyaki, spicy miso or simply salt-grilled. We enjoyed the salt-grilled version most. We also tried the grilled chicken mince sausage which we dipped in quail’s egg yolk, delish! Our other dishes included baby squid with salad dressed with honey mustard and a lovely ‘tze char-esque’ stir fried tofu with Japanese bittergourd, bacon and egg. Our last dish and probably the best of its kind which we have tried, was chicken zosui. The broth was a rich consomme of chicken essence which was both nourishing and comforting (we ♥ carbs).
Just when we thought we that this place had outdone itself, we had a phenomenal cheesecake presented to us which had the texture and consistency of a firmer version of the Tofu we tried earlier but with rich notes of a cheese, making it difficult to discern which was masquerading as which at this point.
With 2 orders of sake, our meal cost us ¥7,000.
The next time you are in Ginza and need to refuel after a long day of retail therapy, duck into Ginza Toriyoshi and treat yourself to a fabulous local dining experience.
Ginza Toriyoshi (Ginza branch)
Tel: 03-3574-7066 (reservations recommended) | Ginza Taburu Pavillion 4F 8-9-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo
Mondays to Fridays, and Days before Holidays – 17:00 – 4:00
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays – 17:00 – 24:00