Yakitori grilled in a smoky stall under the tracks and washed down with mugs of draft beer is a wonderful thing, but humble chicken skewers have been elevated to another level of enjoyment at the newly-opened Yakitori et Vin Poussin in Roppongi. The decor is sleek, modern sushi bar-style with a long blond-wood counter and a vented “kitchen” enclosed in glass so that nary a wisp of grill smoke can escape; several noren-secluded tables are hidden in the back. Yakitori et Vin Poussin offers some of the finest quality tori in the city. The seven-skewer assorted set (¥1,890) or the “Grade Up” ten-skewer set (¥2,730) would each be a good place to start. Skewers can also be ordered à la carte, of course, including the intriguing “Outer Thigh” or “Inner Thigh” choices (¥315 each), and a wide variety of vegetarian skewers are also available. Yakitori et Vin Poussin has created some very tasty original dishes too, such as sasami kombushime, a luscious chicken sashimi moistened by a kombu marinade (¥630) or the “wafu French salad,” a lightly-dressed green salad with crisp ribbons of fried yuba for crunch (¥735). As the name suggests, wine is as important as the chicken here, and Makoto Abe, one of Japan’s most famous sommeliers, has put together a well-rounded list of moderately priced bottles from Spain, France and Italy. His house wine, though, from Koshu, is quite fine: the white is crisp and delicious, and the red is just as tasty (¥525 per glass).
3-2-5 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3405-0328. Mon-Fri 6pm-2am (L.O). Sat 6pm-11pm. Closed Sun & hols. www.vionys.com/poussin