What’s not to love about a good karaage deal?
Lately, our ace reporter Mr. Sato has been on an all-you-can-eat karaage (fried chicken) kick. According to him, karaage is “overflowing with dreams and romance.” We’re still trying to figure out what all that means, but we’ll take his word for it since Mr. Sato is, of course, the man.
This latest food obsession has gotten to the point where Mr. Sato can’t even walk by a karaage restaurant without going in to try it out. In fact, that’s exactly what happened while he was strolling around Tokyo’s Shimbashi neighborhood the other day. Even though he had already eaten lunch and had a full belly, he happened to spy a sign that read, “all-you-can-eat karaage.” As if an unseen force was pulling him in, he soon found himself about to eat a plate of deep-fried chicken.
▼ Tempting karaage beckons.
The particular restaurant he stumbled upon is called Shuko Chiichi, and it’s a three-minute walk from JR Shimbashi Station’s Karasumori Exit. The surrounding neighborhood is full of restaurants and eateries where hungry salarymen and office ladies wolf down some food before going back to the daily grind. As such, many of the places offer quite reasonable lunch specials, and Mr. Sato thought there must be a certain amount of competition between them all.
Even among all of the different lunch deals, Shuko Chiichi seems to have some particularly good things going for it. As if the promise of unlimited chicken karaage wasn’t enough, the lunch special also includes all-you-can-eat rice, miso soup, raw egg, and a variety of dipping sauces, all for 850 yen (US$8)!
▼ That’s a lot of free seconds (or thirds, fourths, or however much room you have in your stomach)!
Mr. Sato ordered tartar sauce and a ponzu sauce mixed with grated daikon to go with his chicken. He sat back to wait for his food, but before he even had time to fool around on his smartphone, it had arrived! The wait couldn’t have been more than 10 seconds.
Probably due to the fact that the majority of people dining in the restaurant are businessmen taking a quick lunch break, Shoko Chiichi aims to serve its customers with lightning speed. It was so fast, however, that Mr. Sato was a little taken aback. Nevertheless, he excitedly took in the contents of his tray, noting the chicken, rice, miso soup, and small dishes of tofu and raw egg, as well as two other bowls of salted kombu (kelp) and pickled vegetables to eat with the rice.
Now onto the verdict. Out of all of the chicken karaage places that Mr. Sato has sampled, he declared that the size of the pieces at Shuko Chiichi is the absolute best. They’re neither too big nor too small, and he estimated that he could comfortably eat about 10 pieces to satisfy both his eyes and stomach.
The chicken was piping hot and consisted of a wonderful balance between a crispy outside and a tender inside. It was standard izakaya (Japanese pub) goodness with nothing to complain about. Mr. Sato was initially served six pieces, and he ordered an additional four pieces for seconds. If he’d been hungrier, though, he would’ve had at least another five pieces, so he vowed to come back again when he had an empty stomach.
Though there was nothing particularly striking about the chicken, the addition of free rice, miso soup, and raw egg really sealed the deal. If you’re ever in the neighborhood and have a craving for deep-fried chicken, Shuko Chii is the place to go! At the very least, it’s got Mr. Sato’s mark of approval, which counts for a lot around here.
Shuko Chiichi (Karasumori Branch)/ 酒肴ちいち (烏森口店)
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Shinbashi, 3-9-4 Oobashi Building 1F
東京都港区新橋3-9-4 大橋ビル 1F
Open 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m.-midnight
Closed Saturdays and Sundays
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