Chances are if you have a Japanese background you know about Yakitori Jin. The tiny Haberfield restaurant, which opened in early 2017, is regularly packed with Japanese ex-pats who’ve heard it might be serving the most authentic yakitori in town.
The menu reflects the izakayas of Osaka, with skewers of rare chicken cuts that are almost unheard of here but are essential to the culture, such as tail, neck, outside skirt, artery and innards.
All the skewers are roasted over organic mangrove charcoals on yakidai (Japanese grilling tables) custom-built in Osaka. The tare sauce used is a master stock Akihito’s been working with since day one. There’s also udon soups, homemade gyoza (a rare find in Sydney) and home-style dishes like kani tenshin han (a thick chicken soup containing Alaskan crab and rice).
Naturally, all dishes come with the other staple of izakaya dining – high-end alcohol, plus beer.
The venue looks the part. The bar is set so diners peer over the grill, sake bottles line the wall and yakitori is plated upon dishes from Osaka. Timber details make the restaurant look older than it is and handwritten “specials” (most in Japanese) share the wall with an old map of Osaka.