@izakayasanpo had been reminding me, intermittently, to check out Toyada for at least a couple of years before we finally got around to a visit. It was worth the wait.
Just a short walk from Jiyugaoka station, on the “green road” just before you reach Yamada Denki’s Labi store, this izakaya is all about chicken.
A family business – the Toyodas run the show, unsurprisingly – this small establishment is best booked in advance as it soon fills up, although you’ll need to be arriving between 5:30-6pm, or else it’s first-come first-served.
Service is good and the décor is simple; clean, polished wood and stainless steel kitchen – functional not stylish.
The menu is limited. Sit down, order drinks – beer or average nihonshu in cute little one-serving bottles – and then the “course.” You’ll be served a meal of succulent, flavoursome chicken deep-fried so expertly that you can eat it bones and all. Really, not a splinter need be left on your plate, and it tastes great.
The meal starts with tamanegi, a simple bowl of onion “salad,” followed by almost crunchy, fibrous chicken sunagimo (stomach), which was actually, despite my tendency to shun offal, delicious and not at all unpleasant in terms of texture/ mouth-feel.
In due course – nothing is rushed here – the extremely well-sized teba (wing) and momo (thigh) are served. This is the fun part. The skin is so crispy and delicious, the bones incredibly soft and, well, edible, and the flesh succulent and moist. Enough said.
This course-meal can be supplemented with pickled cucumber – if you arrive early you can get the “kyu” that have had a few days to mellow, or the less popular “shin,” which being freshly made are not yet at their best. The onigiri are best avoided (they let the place down to be honest), and the chicken broth that rounds off the meal is tasty.
For all its simplicity, this is definitely a “get thee hence” establishment.