Tokyo Food Page
Kokekokko/
Nishi-Shinjuku:
Yakitori
3345-1141
Data
Shamo is a breed of
game bird known for
its tasty, slightly
chewy meat, and it's
the bird of choice
on the busy grills
at Kokekokko. This
modest-looking
yakitoriya serves
the usual selection
of chicken parts on
skewers - all very
high in quality -
along with beautiful
grilled vegetables
and appealing side
dishes, including
chicken sashimi.
Besides serving
birds of distin-
guished pedigree
(always fresh, never
frozen), they also
take pride in the
quality of their
charcoal (kishu
binchotan from Wa-
kayama) and their
gourmet salt (sea
salt from Bretagne).


The chicken wings
are one of the high-
lights here, or
actually two of the
highlights - they
offer both tebanaka
and tebamoto (meat
from the middle and
upper wing, repec-
tively), rather than
the more common
tebasaki. Both are
served boneless and
are quite juicy and
flavorful. The sasa-
mi (breast meat) is
very rare on the
inside, topped with
fresh-ground wasabi
in tiny dabs that
don't overpower the
flavor. The tsukune
(minced chicken
patty) is substan-
tial in size and
very meaty, accompa-
nied by a richly
flavored, bright-
yellow raw egg for
dipping.

Lined up on the
grill alongside the
chicken skewers is
an impressive array
of vegetables -
gigantic shiitake
mushrooms, big
chunks of eringi
mushroom, large
cubes of eggplant,
and a few things you
don't see every day,
like baby corn and
delicate, gingery
myoga buds. Pickles
are made from color-
ful Kyoto heirloom
vegetables, prepared
with a light touch
so that they are
fresh-tasting and
just barely salty.
Other side dishes
include liver pate,
tataki (chicken
seared on the out-
side, raw in the
middle), and a sa-
shimi platter with
raw chicken meat and
chicken liver. Four
premium sakes and a
handful of shochu
brands supplement
the usual beer and
chuhai cocktails on
the drinks list.

The tiny shop is
wedged into a base-
ment corner of a
shopping complex,
adjoining the Shin-
juku station under-
ground (there's a
Uniqlo at ground
level). Seating is
tight but the coun-
ter is comfortably
wide, the modern
decor is tasteful
and subdued, and the
atmosphere is con-
vivial. The sixteen
counter seats fill
up quickly, but
there's reasonable
turnover during the
course of the eve-
ning if you're a
single diner or a
pair. Groups can
reserve a table in
the separate private
room, which seats
eight. Budget around
Y3500-4500 for a
dinner-size portion
of food and drinks.
Photo
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Nearest restau-
rants

Nearest cafes/
bars


Shinjuku-ku,
Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-
1, Palette Town
Bldg. B2F. Open
4-10:30pm (LO)
daily.
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