Yakitori Ice Cream

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Working in midtown west for the past few years, I must have walked by Yakitori Totto a million times, but have never been in. My loss, as I have missed out on some of the best yakitori around. Cooked on a well-seasoned iron grill, skewers of chicken parts and ever-tender meatballs come out juicy with just enough char. Relatively simple, but done so well. They even grill their gyoza on a stick for a crisp skin that is fused by the heat creating a thin lacy layer of starch, sublime in the way that burnt crispy rice is. Speaking of burnt crispy rice, the rice balls offer a textbook example of this kind of perfection. Equally good off the grill are the salads with either a shiso or wasabi dressing. A small dish of raw tuna cubes makes me embrace mercury whole heartedly.

The revelation of the evening was the dessert – vanilla ice cream with drizzled molasses and toasted soy bean powder. It’s not everyday that I find a new taste sensation, and this I can have every day as long as I can find the ingredients. It took two Japanese grocery stores to find the soybean powder, discreetly tucked away on a shelf with other mysterious powders and flours at the Sunrise Mart. Just as an exotic of a find is the generic, non-fancy, non-organic grocery store which has the molasses. Almost a refined derivative of the hot fudge sundae, it is creamy and sweet, with just enough acrid bite and nuttiness.

Yakitori Ice Cream
-scoop 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream in a bowl
-drizzle 1t molasses over ice cream
-sprinkle 1t soybean powder over top


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