Friday, January 17, 2014


I took an old friend from Hong Kong to Berkeley's Ippuku which goes beyond a yakitori joint. One of their more novel dishes is a chicken tartare served with a raw quail egg on top.  Who's afraid of raw chicken sushi?  Even as a Korean- raw chicken flesh is something I've never properly had.  I've only enjoyed raw chicken skin and heart with sesame oil as a child.   I've been putting off this particular delicacy for quite a while now only because I couldn't get anyone to share it and I didn't want to have to eat an entire bowlful by myself.

The flesh is quite sweet and tastes like sushi.  It turns out my friend somehow managed to evade this special experience without me noticing.  I think once is enough for me as I find their raw scallops or uni to be a tastier treat.  We also enjoyed grilled beef tongue, chicken heart, chicken liver and pig intestines with numerous cups of soba/buckwheat tea.  I might toast my own buckwheat groats at home and start drinking more soba tea as it's nutty and healthful.

Chestnut creme noodles was their seasonal dessert.  A visual pun on soba, this piece of deliciousness also hid  a dollop of creme and spongecake inside.  Ippuku means to take a break and so this meal gave us a definite respite from the endless taco and ceviche parade in Mexico but I'm ready to go back to topopos and salsa.


  1. Seems delicious; although I heard that chicken that are to be eaten raw are cared differently in Japan, because of the bacteria they generally have, not sure if it is true...

  2. I think you would have to absolutely trust your chicken farmer but careful processing of the carcass is also key to server chiken tartare. It's been many days and my stomach felt no repercussion.