We had seen so many restaurants and stalls advertising the signature dish of 香川県 Kagawa Prefecture, 骨付鳥 Honetsukidori, or roast chicken on bone, everywhere we went in 高松 Takamatsu, that we decided that we had to try it!
Ms V discovered the must-go place to have this chicken is 一鶴 Ikkaku, so off we went for our early dinner, only to find a snaking queue out in the cold 😮
There was a take-away option, but we wanted to have our food on the spot while piping hot, and since we were not too hungry, we decided to join the queue with at least 17 people in front of us… Cold burns more fat and calories = more space to eat more, right? 😀
一鶴 Ikkaku started out in 丸亀 Marugame in 1952, and since then, has expanded its business to 高松 Takamatsu, 大阪 Osaka, and 横浜 Yokohama. There were 3 outlets in 高松 Takamatsu, and this one was very near our hotel. We had to wait longer for the non-smoking seats, and we later realised that the second floor was solely for the smokers, while the first floor had both smoking and non-smoking sections.
Once we were seated, we quickly placed our order of 1 おやどり Oyadori (old chicken, ¥1008 including tax), 2 ひなどり Hinadori (young chicken, ¥894 each), and a とりめし Torimeshi (¥462). Food came quickly, and we quickly attacked our chicken by wrapping a paper napkin around.
According to the English menu, the oyadori is a “firm bone-in chicken with distinctively textured meat and rich flavor for the experienced palate”, while the hinadori is a “tender bone-in chicken enjoyed by a wide range of people from children to elderly people”. Both types of chicken are baked in salt, pepper, and garlic. The torimeshi is a “soy-sauce flavored steamed rice with vegetables and meat, with condensed chicken savory”.
Well, the ひなどり Hinadori was definitely one of the most succulent chicken leg that we have ever tasted, and we highly recommend that you tear off the meat off the bone directly with your teeth! It was hot, tender, juicy, salty, and surprisingly spicy! The skin was very crispy. Overall, simply delicious! The おやどりOyadori was definitely much tougher and more chewy, but as you chew, the flavours just kept coming. Interestingly, the skin tasted like gizzard. It was probably better to share the oyadori as a bite-sized snack, as it could get tiring as one tries to chew off all the meat. Side cabbage was served, and you could use it to scoop up some of the gravy before eating. The soup was was quite flavorful, and had some bits of chicken fats floating in it… Guess that was where the flavors were coming from!
Cold beer would have been the perfect complement, as the chicken was quite oily and salty, but we were all not drinkers. Hence, the とりめし Torimeshi (aka Japanese chicken rice), was a good complement to the chicken. The rice was soft, and the taste was light. I think we were supposed to drizzle the gravy over the rice, but we had the grease all over our mouths anyway, haha!
It was also fun watching people trying to eat the chicken with their chopsticks and giving up eventually. You could ask for the chicken to be cut up, but that would really be missing the fun! Overall, we had a fantastic meal, and when we were leaving, the queue still remained as long… We probably could not eat this everyday, as it was definitely much more oily and saltier than our usual diets… But we were still salivating as we wrote this post…