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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review of Yakitori Totto Izakaya - J-Avenue, Bangkok

Yakitori Totto - Japanese Izakaya @ J-Avenue, Bangkok

Overall Score  8/10
Taste   4/5
Ambiance  3/5
Service  4/5
Value   3/5

More info of Yakitori Totto on Bumres.com 

Among the many Izakaya style Japanese restaurant in Bangkok, Yakitori Totto is one of the newer one that I had encounter into while walking around at the J-Avenue,  In the Thonglor and Prompong area, there are so many Izakaya style restaurants.  From what I have heard, the Yakitori Totto has the original location in New York.  This Japanese restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the J-Avenue, where there are so many other attractive restaurants.  How can the Yakitori Totto compete with other chic choices at the J-Avenue, we will see here in this review.

I was there with a friend.  We got there around 7pm on a weekday but there was almost no one in the restaurant except for one old Japanese guy sitting at the bar drinking his beer and reading newspaper.  To me, the place appeared to be quite new so I questioned myself; will this place survive? I got to talk to the worker and found out that this place has been in business for about 7 months.  Looks like they should make it through since the worker said that that night was unusually quite.  The service was especially great on this visit because we were the only few customers in the place.  Atmosphere was not to worry; nice and clean.  The concept was Japanese; the whole design was kept very simple.  In my opinion, the Yakitori Totto would be a good choice for working individuals and youngster in Bangkok. 

The Yakitori Totto @ J- Avenue mainly concentrated on the chicken just like most Izakaya restaurants.  The yakitori on skeweres cost around 70-100 baht.  Snacks were 100-200 baht.  And the main single serving dishes were about 300 baht approximately.  Highlight about this place was the beer selection.  I was so surprised to find the beer by Est. 33, a singha brand.  My friend and went for the Copper for only 120++ baht a glass. 

The first to come to the table was the Raw octopus marinated in mildly spicy wasabi sauce for 120 baht.  This one was my friend’s favorite.  He said that he always order this menu at every Izakaya he goes to.  For this menu at Yakitori Totto, he commented that it was more salty than usual.  I liked it this way actually.  Second dish was the Flamed pickled mackerel for 180 baht.  In Japanese, this menu is called Aburi Saba.  This one served Sashimi style and it tasted amazing.  I really enjoyed the slight charred aroma and the tastefully marinated fish. 

Since the name of this place is Yakitori Totto, I assume that their yakitori must be their expertise so the next few dishes were the Yakitori.  We had pretty all the chicken choices; wings, legs, insides, and skin.  To me, the taste wasn’t as impressive as I expected.  It must be the marinade or the sauce that wasn’t intense enough.  However, all of them were nicely grilled and enjoyable with the Copper beer by Est. 33.  My friend ordered the Oyakadon for 320 baht, which was the chicken rice bowl with eggs.  He seemed to like it very much; he chowed the whole bowl down so quickly. 

Next up was one of my favorite at Yakitori Totto, the Sweet spicy deep fried chicken for 180 baht.  Chicken wings were battered and deep fried with bell pepper and served with dark sweet and mild spicy sauce.  I liked the sauce but the chicken could be more crispy.  We still have a few more dishes to come.  Deep fried soft fish cake (120 baht) was served.  It looked very much like a typical deep-fried fish fillets but if you bite into it, the texture is like a flat and soft meat ball.  To eat it by itself was alright because of the crispiness of the breadcrumb.  But the special sauce served with made the fish cakes that much better, so why would we do it without dipping.  Finally my rice bowl that I was waiting for came to the table, Negi Tori Don or the Chicken & scallion with mildly cooked egg over rice (250 baht).  We had a choice of dark or white chicken meat.  Of course, I chose the dark meat.  It is much more tasty and juicy.  The chicken pieces were glazed with sweet soy and arranged around the bright runny egg yolk and a topping of chopped scallions; this menu still appeared extremely appetizing even after eating a few dishes.  My first bite with the rice and all made me want to cry (overacting).  Man! This menu was so delicious, I loved it.  I definitely recommend this menu to all of you.  

My overall experience at the Yakitori Totto was quite pleasing, even though I wasn’t so impressed with the yakitori choices we had.  For an Izakaya of the same grade, this one is about average.  For being in the community mall, the character of the restaurant is very much like a franchise restaurant and lacked the sense of distinctiveness.  So, Yakitori Totto @ J-Avenue just need to brush up on their yakitori expertise a little bit more and I guarantee you that this would be a popular Izakaya restaurant of the neighborhood.  

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