When the SO and I visited Tokyo, we decided to spend our last night wandering the little alleyways of Shinjuku and found Omoide Yokocho, where we pigged out on the best yakitori, beer and sake. We have been chasing after that awesome night of food, drink and laughter ever since.
When I heard a yakitori bar had recently opened in West End, I was keen to check it out and see if this might be the ticket to reliving that Tokyo memory, so I tried to rustle up some company to join us at Bird’s Nest Yakitori and Bar for a night of charcoal grilled goodness and Jessalyn of FeedMeNowBrisbane rose to the challenge.
Bird’s Nest Yakitori and Bar had only been opened for 2 weeks when we visited. The décor and lighting are a little darker and sombre, with plenty of dark woods and feature lighting. The grill itself sits out front, where there are bar seating to watch the action.
The majority of the seating in Bird’s Nest Yakitori and Bar is for pairs. Larger groups are ushered to the huge share table with about 15 seats perched as high as bar stools – not necessarily the most comfortable of seating if you’re fun sized or have back/hip issues.
When we made a booking of 4, I had not expected that we would be seated in a row at the big table. This made for very awkward dinner conversation dynamics, as I sat between the SO and Jessalyn and my head got in the way on more than one occasion. It would’ve been much more sensible to sit groups of 4 on the corner, where possible.
To start, we were given complimentary chicken soup. The stuff is potent and chock-a-block full of chicken flavour.
All the skewers are made daily and cooked to order. You get the option to have them flavoured either with shio (Himalayan salt) and tare (master sauce), and the chicken skewers are from free range chickens. In fact, most of the skewers are chicken based. This does mean that the skewers arrive as they are cooked, so they often arrive individually and it might be several minutes before the next one comes.
Between the three of us, we had:
- Sasami (chicken tenderloin topped with either wasabi mayonnaise or ume and shiso leaves). AUD$4
- Torimomo (chicken thigh with lemon and cracked pepper). AUD$4
- Tebasaki (chicken wings with lemon and cracked pepper). AUD$4
- Tsukune (chicken meatballs). AUD$4
- Buta bara (moisture infused Murray Valley pork belly with lemon and cracked pepper). AUD$4
- Eringi (king oyster mushroom with soy butter). AUD$4
- Shiitake (locally grown shiitake mushroom with ponzu vinegar). AUD$4
- Hatsu (chicken hearts). AUD$3
- Yagen nankotsu (soft cartilage with chicken thigh with black pepper). AUD$3
- Torikawa (crispy chicken skin). AUD$3
Jessalyn also topped up with the Torichazuke (hot chicken broth poured over rice topped with shredded seaweed and wasabi. AUD$6.50), while I tried their Yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball brushed with tare. AUD$4). I had some serious food envy watching Jessalyn slurp up the fragrant concoction with some of her eringi skewer.
Personally I liked the Torimomo (simple and brightened by the lemon), hatsu (still soft and easy to chew) and torikawa (almost all the fat had been trimmed off, so it wasn’t greasy). My disappointment was the Shiitake, which I found too salty.
All up, the above with 2 beers, a sake and a ume wine came up to AUD$139.