Spice things up with CHIKIN's fiery marriage of Japanese yakitori and Szechuan spice – with unique infused cocktails to boot
CHIKIN’s inception was born of the idea to meld the best of two popular Asian disciplines – Japanese yakitori and Szechuan ‘Shao Kao’ (barbecue). This marriage of spicy, smoky flavours is complemented by CHIKIN’s selection of Asian-inspired cocktail infusions.
I dived right into CHIKIN’s creations – first up, a spread of classic yakitori skewers where practically every part of the chicken was represented. Each skewer comes served slathered with a generous amount of house-made Szechuan Mala sauce. You’ll find all your yakitori classics here – chicken thigh, mid-joint, cartilage (with chunks of meat on it), and chicken skin – all grilled over a binchotan. While these spicy skewers were each impressive examples of yakitori with a twist, the standout skewers were the fatty and crispy chicken tail and the tsukune meatballs, mixed with cartilage chunks for texture.
CHIKIN’s dining options don’t end at yakitori though. Another dish well worth trying is the unagi garlic fried rice, topped with a generous portion of tobiko (fish roe) as well as the CHIKIN karaage – hardly as exciting a dish as the former, but still a classic done well. For something truly unique, order CHIKIN’s chilled Japanese sea snails. The cold dish packs a deceptively spicy punch thanks to the addition of a heady dose of Szechuan spice.
The restaurant’s fondness for spicy Szechuan elements segues nicely into their drink program, the brainchild of award-winning bartender Sam Wong. The Szechuan Bloody Mary, an Asian riff of the classic that features five peppercorn spice levels along with the playful suggestion that “the spicier you dare, the better you will fare”. For something a little less intense, opt for the Sake Sangria that showcases fruit-infused sake. If cocktails aren’t your thing, CHIKIN’s impressive sake collection will take guests through the length and breadth of the iconic beverage’s various styles.
Yakitori bars have always drawn crowds through its simple formula of small plates and sake selections – a formula that CHIKIN has down to a science. But what makes for a return visit is its impressive selection of classic and novel yakitori dishes and quirky cocktails.
CHIKIN, 6 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089820.