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Raw Chicken at Fuku

Fuku in Yoyogi-Uehara was a last-minute discovery I made before my escape from Tokyo.

It was a five-minute walk from my apartment and served yakitori in a style much trendier than Tori-ina. Tori-ina brings in the 40s and 50s crowd, whereas, Fuku is patronized by people in their 20s and 30s.

The exterior is unassuming - no windows, just an entry-way with a noren.

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When you enter the space, it's small (but normal for Tokyo standards) - seating about 25 people with a glassed-off area where the yakitori chefs grill, serving as the centerpiece.

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The selection at Fuku is wide, with the menu broken up into chicken, beef, homemade, seafood, vegetable and a la carte. It's crucial to cruise the specials menu as well, which humbly stands on the tables and counters in a stiff plastic display stand.

The Menu:

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Prices are normal for Tokyo standards with most sticks (one order equals one stick) hovering at ¥250 (nearly $3.00).

Like almost everything in Japan, presentation is flawless. They can literally make Premium Crackers look gourmet.

Raw Chicken completes any decent yakitori place in Tokyo. At Fuku, the raw chicken or tori-wasa (¥600) is served in such an aesthetically pleasing way - sitting atop a shiso leaf with a sprout of ginger in the middle. Eating these raw pieces of chicken dabbed into shoyu and wasabi halts conversation. The wasabi on the plate reminds me of Japan's love for mountains.

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Salad (¥680)

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Homemade Astu-age or Fried Tofu (¥280)

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Smoked Cheese (¥350)

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Tomato rolled in Bacon (¥250)

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Neginiku or Leek and Leg Meat (¥250)

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Asparagus rolled in Bacon (¥250)

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Hinagawa or Skin (¥220)

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Enokidake rolled in Bacon (¥250)

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Tsukune (¥250)

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I would recommend this place for the atmosphere (lighting) and ease of ordering* (thanks to the menu that is clearly written in both Japanese and English). As for taste, I preferred Tori-ina's salt and simplicity.

But the best part is, you can get off at Yoyogi-uehara (Fuku) or Hatagaya (Tori-ina) station and try both within walking distance.

* Fuku is always busting. Time your visit so you visit on a weekday, after 9pm. They also take reservations.
Column: Tokyo JUNKtion
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10 comments

  • OH CRAP! I thought this was in the bay….I am coming on Tuesday, I want to try and go to Washi’s shochu restaurant with my mom. What do you think, can you go? Tues-Sat…?

    tomo on

  • Yeah, and it’s SO good.

    yoko on

  • I had no idea you could eat raw chicken!

    Craig on

  • Yeah! I can go on Wednesday or Friday of next week. Let me know!

    yoko on

  • Yeah, Yamahomo IS turning American. But it could just be a personal preference thing too. Do you not like the taste? Or does it bother you that it’s raw?

    yoko on

  • Raw chicken is pretty normal in Japan, since they claim it’s “fresh”. Whatever, and however it may mean, when I went to yakitori place in Tokyo, I asked the guy to “cook” my “raw chicken” yakitori. He was not happy about it. A little pink is one thing, but totally raw isn’t something I can eat any more. Yamahomo may be too Americanized, but I like my chicken cooked, damn it.

    yamahomo on

  • Isn’t Fuku closed on Wednesdays? I would love to find out otherwise since I was planning dinner there on a Wednesday, but I have read that it’s closed.

    Ben on

  • I think I’d have a hard time stomaching raw chicken too. It probably is all the warnings about salmonella etc., and the thought of it kind of grosses me out.

    I’d probably try it, but I’d rather stick to my sashimi.

    Craig on

  • I think it’s more on the texture. I like my steak bloody red, but something about chicken’s raw texture is freaky. Also I’m over warned by salmonella, so raw chicken is something I can’t realistically think as an option. Wow, I am turning American.

    Yamahomo on

  • I am not sure if they are closed on Wednesdays. You might want to give them a call to make sure they are open.

    yoko on

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