Visited 13.11.2014 (Thu)
First dinner in Shikoku! Apart from Sanuki Udon, another local favourite gourmet food in Kagawa Prefecture is grilled chicken thigh. This dish is a specialty of Marugame, a city approximately 30 minutes away by rail from Takamatsu. Speaking of its origin, we have to trace back to 1950. The idea came from a restaurant owner in Marugame city after he watched a scene of a woman eating a fried chicken heartily in a Hollywood movie. He wanted to create a similar dish that would give his patrons that level of satisfaction as depicted in the scene; and the recipe of the grilled chicken was perfected after multiple trial and error. There are two different chicken to choose from: the young chicken (wadori わどり) or the mature chicken (shindori 親どり). Each type has its own fan base - young chicken meat is more tender and juicier while the mature chicken meat is much resilient yet flavourful. Scissors would provided to cut the mature chicken for easier consumption.
Did not intend to visit Marugame but manage to locate a restaurant in Takamatsu offering this similar dish. In Yoridori Midori, Kagawa grown chicken which are served on that day is only butchered in the morning for guaranteed freshness. We chose the young chicken as we were afraid that the matured chicken meat was too tough for our teeth to handle. The chicken was seasoned with large amount of salt and pepper and was grilled in the oven till the skin became crispy. Tender and juicy meat could be peeled off from the bone effortlessly. If not for a travelogue program I have watched previously, I would not have know how to deal with this separate plate of chopped raw cabbage which was served together with the chicken without any sauces drizzled on it. The correct way to eat the cabbage is to dip it into the chicken oil (left on the plate where the grilled chicken thigh is placed) before consumption. And surprisingly the savoury chicken oil helped to enhance the sweetness of the cabbage! Ordered a bowl of chicken rice (torimeshi とりめし) and it tasted completely different from the one I am familiar with back at home. Reason being the rice is cooked with chicken meat and flavoured with soy sauce. Overall, this was a very satisfying dinner which left us a pretty good impression of the food in Shikoku on the first day of our trip.
|Keep a lookout for the restaurant located on the second floor of one of the shophouses.|
|Cabbage served together with grilled young chicken thigh. Look at the amount of chicken oil on the plate.|
|Very delicious and refreshing eggplant and tomato salad.|
|Chicken rice, completely different from the Hainanese version.|