Tori Tori

Special thanks to Tori Tori for extending this food review invitation.

Despite the big hype surrounding the recent opening on Din Tai Fung at Gurney Plaza, one must not overlook the many different eateries that populate this bustling shopping mall. One of the more recent food kiosks is Tori Tori Japanese Yakitori (日本の焼き鳥). Meaning "chicken" (とり) in Japanese (or "bird" depending on context), Tori Tori specializes in yakiniku (焼き肉), Japanese-style grilled meat on skewers.
The meat is typically coated with sweet-savory tare (垂れ) sauce and slowly grilled over a heat source. The proprietors picked up this recipe after a fact-finding mission to Japan. Shioyaki (塩焼き) was considered for the menu too, but the proprietors felt that salted meat skewers may not strike a chord with the local palate.
Although traditional yakiniku is prepared using burning charcoal as the heat source, it is more hygienic to use an electric grill instead. The kiosk also has a mechanized grill to handle mass grilling, but the machine is only used when there are many customers.
While individual skewers are sold individually, it makes more economic sense to select from the set meal menu. Generally, each meal consists of three or four skewers of different combinations, plus Japanese rice (ご飯) and iced green tea (お茶).
Alternatively, one can also select any 4 skewers from the à la carte menu, then supplement RM1.99 to get a portion of rice and tea.
For poultry, chicken breast (むね肉, RM3.60) and thigh (もも肉, RM3.90) are both available. I personally recommend the latter as its fatty nature provides more palatable texture. Bell peppers (ピーマン) can be included to each skewer for mere RM0.30.
The chicken is very flavorful thanks to the twice-applied tare sauce. The taste can be overpowering for people who are not used to heavy seasoning, but it should be fine when eaten with rice.
Alternatively, one can also try a skewer of chicken skin (鶏皮, RM2.50). The taste is certainly gratifying, but this is certainly a guilty pleasure for the health-conscious ones. I think it is better to cut the skin to smaller pieces so that the whole strip does not become dislodged with a single bite.
Shiitake mushroom (椎茸, RM3.00) is also available. Heating is controlled so that the mushroom remains reasonably juicy. Alternatively, one may opt for some oyster mushrooms (平茸, RM3.00) too.
Unagi (鰻, RM7.00) is also available, but you may want to opt for something else since unagi sushi has become quite common in Japanese restaurants of late.

Other types of meat are Australian beef (牛肉) and lamb (羊肉). The meats are made to order as they aren't as fast-moving. For seafood, salmon (サーモン) and squid (烏賊) are available. There are also sausages and meatballs, but I think it is better to try fresh meat first. The menu at Tori Tori is entirely pork-free.
Name: Tori Tori Japanese Yakitori
Address: 170-B1-K3, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: None
Business hours: 10:00am-10:00pm
Website: http://www.toritori.my
Coordinates: 5.43751 N, 100.30960 E
Directions: Tori Tori is located at the Basement level of Gurney Plaza, where Myeong Dong used to be located. Gurney Plaza has basement and multi-level parking garages.

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