Yamato Yakitori quietly opened during the pandemic. Since we live right around the corner, we noticed the construction leading up to the opening of the restaurant. There are no windows, so you cannot see inside. It felt private, secret, hidden while also being in broad daylight. We often saw very, very nice race cars parked outside of the restaurant.
It wasn't until much later that we learned that it was a yakitori place. Yamato Yakitori originates from Osaka, Japan. The restaurant sources 150 day free range Jidori chicken from Nara, Japan and grills them over a charcoal grill.
I love yakitori, and one of my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong is a yakitori joint. Yet the fancy cars made me wonder whether this was some kind of super high end yakitori.
Yes and no.
During normal dinner hours, omakase menus are the only option, and you can enjoy them paired with fancy sakes or nice wines. However, starting at 9:30PM, the "Supper" menu becomes available. This is when you can order skewers a la carte (HKD60 each), or enjoy more casual "omakase" sets, 7 pieces for HKD400 or 10 pieces for HKD580. Contrast this with the tasting menus at dinner, which cost HKD 1080 for the classic omakase, and HKD1680 for the Signature omakase.
The Signature Omakase
Since we were coming to celebrate Bryan's birthday, we decided to go all out and try the Signature Omakase. It comes with a variety of dishes, as well as 12 skewers. If you're still not full after the 12 skewers, you can still order add-ons, which cost between HKD60 and HKD80 for most pieces (and HK$120 for special ones like the Yamato Special Chicken Thigh and Kumamoto Wagyu Filet).
They have a pretty good sake selection, and we tried several different kinds together with our chicken.
Cheese and Mini-sliders??
And then we tried thier mini-burger, which was so small!
It was super cute. It's also nice to be able to eat a burger in one bite.
Rice, Somen, or Ramen?
Bryan immediately went for the chicken ramen. It is the most traditional and classic choice. After all, we are eating at a restaurant that specializes in chicken. The chicken broth is bound to be fantastic (and it was!).
Happy Birthday Bryan!
All in all, we had a great time. High quality ingredients, expert execution, meticulous attention to detail in how every dish is made . . . it was really a lovely meal. The environment is cozy and intimate. Yes, it was quite pricy, and for yakitori, you can probably get just as enjoyable of a meal at another yakitori joint (or even come to Yamato late at night). However, a dinner at Yamata Takitori is much more than just going to a yakitori joint. It's an entire tasting menu that also includes a lot of other seasonal Japanese specialties. For a special occasion, it's really quite nice.
The tiny restaurant only seats twelve, so it's safer to make a reservation.
Yamato Yakitori Wan Chai Hong Kong
Shop No. 3-8, The Oakhill
28 Wood Road, Wan Chai