(Skewered) Hearts on Fire: One Night Only Yakitori at Le Diplomate

So we’re back from our trip to Japan, and with all the great meals we had there still fresh in our minds, we got an email from food writer about town JP Karwacki.

One of his favourite spots in Mile Ex, Le Diplomate, was having a one-off yakitori night, and who better to assess its authenticity than two people who just had the real deal?

And you know what? Le Diplomate’s yakitori night was so impressive, we’re heartbroken that it’s not a regular occurrence. To think we’ll never have the taste of their bbq grilled chicken hearts and sticky and smoky gizzard on our lips ever again…

Perhaps it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never set foot in the restaurant’s steamy backroom at all? It felt partly like a night at the chef’s table, but also like something altogether clandestine.

It felt like gaining access to a secret club, but it also tasted like a barbecue among friends. Each of the different yakitori skewers, from chicken thighs to the more adventurous heart, gizzard, and chicken oyster, were grilled to perfection. On the side, we had pickled cucumber, gai choy and shishito peppers, all brining it flavour-wise and complimenting the blackened meats.

Kudos to Chris and Clay for the perfect tonic to the Monday blahs. Yakitori night felt like an extra day of vacation. And we capped off the night the right way: with sake and a vaguely deconstructed mochi cake.

Although different, in some respects it did remind us of our late-night yakitori run in Roppongi, where we took one turn down a quiet side street at 2 am and boom, found an amazing basement resto filled with life. The feeling of getting our skewers that night is one we’ll never replicate, but this was awesome experience in its own right and an equally welcome surprise.

By the way, this shouldn’t be confused with a review of Le Diplomate on a regular night, because they usually do things differently. But this was an excellent introduction to the restaurant and we can’t wait to go back, yakitori night or otherwise.

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