Do you know sukiyaki? This Japanese dish became famous through a famous song by Kyu Sakamoto (which, in fact, had nothing to do with the food). Sukiyaki is originally a Japanese specialty with beef in a sweet sauce. Today we would like to introduce the restaurant “Botan” in Kanda, a restaurant specialized in “Tori Sukiyaki”, sukiyaki with Chicken, which was founded in 1897. We visited this traditional restaurant with its special atmosphere and went on a culinary journey!
When you step through the gate and enter the building that was built 90 years ago, you are entering completely different world. Japanese walls made of sand and clay, historical-looking wooden pillars and ceilings made out of woven strips of wood. Here, you can fully immerse yourself in Japan as it was around 100 years ago. In the waiting room was a small bincho charcoal stove that radiated natural warmth. I felt the warmth and instantly relaxed.
The staff led me to a tatami room with small, low tables. There, I sat on a floor cushion and the staff took my drink order. “Botan” offers only one dish: “Tori Sukiyaki”. Therefore, besides “Tori Sukiyaki” you will only find fried chicken, snacks and drinks on the list.
After a while, the staff brought a bincho charcoal stove and an iron pan together with plates and various types of “Tori Sukiyaki” ingredients, such as chicken meat, chicken dumplings, spring onions, tofu, shirataki noodles and the sweet sauce called warishita.
The preparation of “Tori Sukiyaki” is very simple. There are no rules. Spread the meat and vegetables in the hot iron pan, add the sauce and cook. However, since the heat of the bincho charcoal cannot be adjusted, you have to be careful to always keep adding sauce so that nothing burns.
At the end of the meal, as the so-called shime (final main dish) I got rice and pickles. Many people save a little bit of chicken and raw eggs until the end to make oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice). But you can also just pour the rest of the sauce over the rice!
The meal at Botan was somewhat shocking. But in a good way, since I was really surprised that there is still such a historical place in the middle of Tokyo today. The atmosphere, the taste of the food, the staff, everything was really great. The price of the Tori Sukiyaki from Botan is more on the expensive side (starting from 8,000 yen per person) but at the same time, it’s a Japanese winter feast that you should experience at least once in your life!
Tori Sukiyaki Restaurant Botan
1-15 Kandasudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/bodY1LnSfks93tDy5
Next station: Awajicho Station, Ogawamachi Station, Kanda Station, Akihabara Station, Ochanomizu Station