Karen Reyment | Time out Brisbane
You’d never realise these bits of the chicken were so delicious unless you tried them on sticks at this traditional yakitori restaurant in South Brisbane
Livers, hearts and arteries are just a few of the skewered delicacies you’ll find at this little yakitori dining den, where walls and ceilings are painted with abstract chickens, sprays of pretty cherry blossom and character writing.
Those livers ($3), pulled from a grill powered by glowing, Japanese white binchotan charcoal, reveal a still-pink blush inside, remaining soft and juicy to their centres. Other skewered superstars are chicken skin ($4) grilled to golden and crisp after a session of double-boiling and air-drying before being threaded and placed on the grill; and as for those fatty nubs listed on the menu as ‘tail’ but better known as the parson’s nose, cooked with sesame oil and lemon ($3) – wow.
All chicken bits are free-range, never frozen and grilled to order. Owners and old high-school pals Emi Kamada and Marie Yokoyama know quality is important when you’re serving dishes of such simplicity. Offal not your thing? There’s skewers of thigh meat; tofu and a garden of vegetables wrapped in a thin tissue of pork belly; king oyster mushroom brushed until shining like a beacon with soy butter, shiitake with ponzu vinegar (all $4); and asparagus with a squeeze of wasabi mayo ($3). There’s plenty of other stuff on the menu too, but skewers are the stars.
Emi and Marie have just extinguished the blazing candle on top of Bird’s Nest’s first birthday cake. Marie shouts a greeting to customers while tending the skewers on the grill – turning, seasoning with salt and basting with tare (master sauce). A seat at the grill will give you a front-of-stage view of the theatrics of leaping flames to a soundtrack of sizzle.
Bring an adventurous spirit and promise yourself to try something new, because Bird’s Nest sticks it to ya with 100 per cent, bona-fide yummi-tori.