Yakitori Yurripi is a small, convivial restaurant on Falcon Street in Crows Nest. The atmosphere is like being in Tokyo and they specialise in meat and seafood on skewers. Yaki means grilled and tori means chicken in Japanese and while yakitori joints in Tokyo specialise in all cuts of chicken, Yakitori Yurripi has chicken, pork and seafood.
The name Yakitori Yurripi explains owner Tin Jung Shea, "Is based on a person who was dear to me during my time studying at Sapporo university. Her name is Yuriya Sensei and the brand and logo is loosely based on her. My designer who also knows her, thought it’d make a cute logo."
We are given a paper menu where we fill out the boxes for our choices. Most of it is made up of food on skewers and there is a minimum order of 2 sticks per type.
I'm having a birthday lunch with Mr NQN, Queen Viv and Miss America. We had booked a table (and it's small so it's best to book a table) but the previous guests hadn't finished eating so they ask us if we don't mind sitting outside and then switching when they are done but it's such a nice and sunny winter's day that we end up staying at the outdoor table. We start with a mixture of Japanese soft drinks like Calpis water, Orion Beer and Genmaicha tea and then the dishes come out quickly.
I love the karaage at their sister restaurnt Nakano Darling where they have several varieties. This version is the regular chicken version which is juicy, well-seasoned and delicious.
Queen Viv adores octopus and this was her request (I'm still avoiding eating octopus after watching the My Octopus Teacher documentary). Instead of chicken they marinate, flour and deep fry pieces of octopus.
The sticks start coming out. So I learnt that you can be married to someone for ages and then realise that they love something like chicken hearts. Yep that's Mr NQN. He adores chicken hearts. Queen Viv and Miss America aren't as big a fan of this type of offal but they are tender and delicious with an ever so slight offal flavour. The miso sake cod is a favourite for everyone. It has such a luscious texture to it paired with the perfect sweet and savoury seasoning from the white miso glaze.
*Pork Belly $3.80 each *
I adore pork belly and while this is simply seasoned with an emphasis on the melting, juicy pork belly meat.
Another favourite at the table was the chicken meatball on a 63 degree egg. You take the meatball off the skewer and then dip it on the googy egg that coats it in creamy yolk and white. "This is how all meatballs should be," declares Miss America licking his fingers in appreciation.
Clockwise from left: Chicken thigh and shallot $3.80 each, Scallop with Kombu Butter $4.80 each, Slow Cooked Ox Tongue with Miso Sauce $4.80 each, Unagi Eel $4.80 each
I liked the grilled scallop with kombu butter. I had hoped that the butter would be stronger in flavour but it's quite mild. Chicken thigh and shallot is always a classic yakitori dish that I ordered for Queen Viv and Miss America who haven't tried as much yakitori. It's not bad but I like the more interesting items.
Like this slow cooked ox tongue. Tongue is one of my favourite meats and this is thickly sliced and beautifully fatty. This is one of my favourite items on the menu although fat phobic people may not enjoy the texture (Queen Viv wasn't a huge fan).
The unagi eel is everyone's favourite dish along with the cod. The eel here is springy and melts in the mouth with that luscious tare or sweet soy sauce brushed over it.
It's a bit of a big call calling the cabbage "addictive" but indeed it is. This crunchy cabbage salad comes with big chunks of crisp cabbage, sesame seeds, seaweed and sesame oil and it's a great foil for the meat heavy menu and you definitely want a serve of this.
*Chicken skin $3.80 each *
Confession: I'm a massive fan of chicken skin. I would rather eat the skin and leave the meat from chicken quite frankly and while everyone else eschews the fattiness of the skin I polish this off.
I love pork jowl for its fattiness but I have to admit that when this arrived quite late I was a bit full from all the fatty, meaty goodness. This is firmer and spongey in texture and comes with some yuzu kosho, the citrus chilli condiment that it really needs to lighten it up.
What is very nice and unexpected is the bill which at $40 a person for all of this food, fun and frivolity seems like a bargain.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like fatty meats or do you prefer lean? Do you have a favourite yakitori skewer? And how do you feel about chicken skin?
This meal was independently paid for.
7 Falcon St, Crows Nest NSW 2065
Tuesday & Wednesday closed
Thursday 11:30am–2:30pm, 5–9pm
Friday & Saturday 11:30am–2:30pm, 5–10pm
Sunday 11:30am–2:30pm, 5–9:30pm