Ken Yakitori!

Hi All!

So Friday night, amidst a hell of essays and assignments, Edd and I went to our favorite place to eat in Auckland, a Japanese Yakitori Bar called Ken Yakitori. This was kind of a belated dinner to celebrate Edd’s graduation on Tuesday due to me being a terrible girlfriend and being so stressed out by Uni work that a night off after a day missing lectures for the graduation was a no-go.

So the food here is incredible! Being a Yakitori bar the main attraction is the variety of dishes cooked on a charcoal grill thing on a stick (great description right? I should definitely write restaurant reviews…). These “sticks” range from $4-$6 for 2 but there are also some combo options. As well as safer dishes such as Prawns wrapped in pork, scallops, chicken mince balls and Beef Sirloin there are some more interesting ones such as Beef Tongue and squid and then the downright untryables such as the chicken hearts or gizzards… I’m not that adventurous unfortunately. Although these are undoubtedly amazing they also cook a range of bigger dishes such as Japanese curry, huge bowls of Udon noodles, Teriyaki Tofu, Beef Tataki, Salmon etc. As well as these there are a range of lovely fresh salads and of course edamame beans which seem quite popular (although to be honest I’ve never fully seen the appeal other than popping the peas out of the pod…).

This is why we love it here, each time we come we try a huge number of different dishes, some of our favorites and usually a couple of new ones. The huge variety and the incredible level of freshness in all the dishes are what make this place a favorite along with a very reasonable price tag for a great night out!

Anyway here are some of the many dishes of our night 🙂

Chicken thighs marinated in Tare sauce (heaven in Japanese sauce form). Looks nowhere near as delicious and moist as this really is! One of our favorites that we order every time we go.

Miso cheese rice ball. So this is something we don’t normally get but was amazing! A grilled rice ball that is covered in a miso paste as it is cooked on the grill and when opened reveals a giant piece of gooey brie cheese (or something similar). The use of cheese might not be hugely traditional but appeals to the cheese fiend in me and went amazingly well with the miso rice. Oh and the purple gherkin type things on the side are pretty darn good too! Luckily Edd isn’t so crazy for gherkins so all for me!

Lotus chips – basically their version of potato chips but in our opinion much nicer! Salty and a little bit sweet too mmm

Pork Belly and Onion. Another consistent favorite. An ideal combination cooked to perfection.

Broccoli salad with Japanese Mayo and Sesame dressing. This cold broccoli salad is way more delicious that it should be. The sesame dressing is slightly satay tasting to my extremely simple tastebuds and goes perfectly with a fresh, refreshing broccoli that is cooked just how I like it!

Beef Sirloin with Horseradish and Spring Onion garnish. Sirloin grilled so that its still pink and tender inside with a charcoal taste on the outside that is delightful.

This is another favorite (I think I have said that for almost every photo): the Japanese curry that has grilled cheese on top. Traditional? – Nope, Odd? – Yup, Amazing? – incredibly so. Somehow this confusing combination tastes perfect. And for Edd who misses the Japanese curries that he experienced on his visit this slightly sweet curry is perfection. Add some cheese and I’m certainly a happy diner too.

And what Japanese meal would be complete without some warm Sake?

So that’s some of the dishes we had. I am ashamed to say this isn’t all the food we ate haha but somehow we don’t walk out feeling stuffed and bloated which is my usual result from a meal out. This might be because you end up waiting between the fits of ordering a couple of dishes at a time.

If you are lucky enough to live in Auckland than definitely give this place a go! They have a few restaurants around Auckland but our favorite is the one on Anzac Ave in the city center. All up our huge meal along with a bottle of warm sake to share came to around $70 and we ate rather a lot. Easy to eat around $50 worth if avoiding buying drinks but hard to resist the allure of Japanese Sake and beer when in the atmosphere!

And here is a rather blurry photo of Ken himself busy on the grill! We love choosing seats up at the bar where we can nosy into what everyone else is ordering haha!

Hope everyone had an amazing weekend 🙂



One thought on “Ken Yakitori!

  1. That place looks amazing!! I’m a vegetarian…but I would still want to try EVERYTHING! The curry with grilled cheese on top? What?! Sounds yum! Glad you got to ditch all the hard work for a while to enjoy the evening

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