Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's a Yakitori Jinbei?!

I always feel lost in Marietta. Everything always seems so spread out. I often get Cobb Parkway, Concorde Road, Cumberland Boulevard and the other main drags mixed up. But, once you do learn to navigate your way around this north-western 'burb, you could find yourself feasting on some of Atlanta's better grub. They've got great pizza, BBQ and Japanese among an even wider variety of joints that I've never even had the opportunity to try.
I'd been wanting to try Yakitori Jinbei for some time now but again, either couldn't find it or was enticed by some of the area's other restaurants. After a very long, exhausting day with Kins, we finally made it to this small spot in a strip shopping center off of Cobb Parkway.

As the name suggests, Yakitori Jinbei specializes in yakitori (essentially Japanese kabobs). But they also have a full and stocked sushi bar and many other Japanese specialities that you may be hard pressed to find at other Japanese spots around town. We went for both the namesake yakitori and the tonkatsu ramen. We also ordered a simmered pumpkin appetizer special that was just... bland. But props to Jinbei for providing us with complimentary edamame upon being seated, rather than charging for it.

The yakitori was offered in two varieties, salted or sauced and we opted to get both. Jinbei asserts they use fresh, young chickens from their own farms and cook them over a traditional charcoal grill. The salted meat just seemed plain to me, and while I much prefered the sauced rendition, I felt the yakitori fell short in my book. Also, I'm not convinced the salted version was prepared on charcoal but it was readily apparent that the sauced version was.

Difference in char between salted and sauced versions

I really enjoyed the tiny vegetable arranged on the sauced skewers and they provided some nice contrasting flavor and texture.

The tonkatsu ramen was exceptional. I put this among my top 3 soups in the city. I believe tonkatsu implies that the pork should be fried, but it was roasted as the menu indicated. The broth was creamy, but not heavily so and extremely flavorful. The noodles were perfectly al dente and provided the perfect textrue. Green onions and seaweed adorned the top of the dish and only added to the soups wonderfullness.
I definitley plan on returning for the ramen and to try some other unusual dishes and sushi. That is if I don't decide to try one of the many new, delicious places that Marietta seems to keep nurturing.

All photos in this entry shot by the lovely Kins

Oh and in case you were wondering what the title is all about:

Yakitori Jinbei on Urbanspoon

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