Yakitori Takumi

Yakitori Takumi is a Japanese restaurant located close to the eastern end of Melbourne Street in North Adelaide. Unlike other conventional Japanese restaurants, there is no sushi or sashimi at this place. Their main specialty is yakitori, which refers to skewered food. The dishes come in small portions and the place is really a Japanese version of tapas. The menu is of a decent size where vegetarians, vegans and the gluten intolerant are catered for.

The decor here is traditional with an extensive use of timber. There are booths on one side of the restaurant while there is seating along the bar area on the other side. We were seated in the booths which were really cramped. There were flimsy cushions for each person, however, this didn’t make us any more comfortable. The table area was also really small, with hardly enough room for all our drinks and dishes.

Two things to note when dining here. The first thing is that there is a $2 charge for tap water for each person if you don’t order any drinks. The second thing is there a $35 minimum spend on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re dining after 7:30pm. The staff here were friendly for the most part, however, I felt we were pestered into ordering drinks and our meals. One waitress in particular, was over attentive, and at times, became overbearing. There’s a fine line between being there when we need you and being intrusive.

In the end, we decided to order some of the chefs recommendations at stated on their menu. The dishes came out one at a time at 10 minute intervals and were nicely presented.

MI – Thigh dipped in traditional yakitori tare sauce. The Japanese version of KFC pop corn chicken. The coating was soft rather than crunchy, and the chicken was slightly overcooked.

CHICKEN CHEESE – Chicken breast with melted cheese and sesame dressing. A small portion of chicken breast meat cooked on a skewer. The chicken was nicely cooked, but the flavours were quite pedestrian.

TAKUMI WING – Chicken drummettes dipped in tare with Japanese pepper and sesame. You’re kidding me? $3 for half a chicken wing? The chicken was well marinated and perfectly cooked, but certainly not worth the price.

TORI KARA – Fried spiced chicken breast dipped in tare. Chicken was tender, succulent and well cooked. As with everything else, portions were small.

KINOKO – Tempura button mushrooms. Mushrooms were soft and juicy, and the tempura coating was well executed.

Sorry folks, no photos of the food were allowed to be taken tonight. I was told that this place has had problems with competitors copying their dishes. If you do a quick google search of this restaurant, there are plenty of images of their dishes already floating around. It’s like saying I can recreate KFC original recipe chicken with its 11 secret herbs and spices, just by looking at a picture.

I know some people say that everything tastes good fried, but for me, this place has just one too many. The serving sizes were also small which left many of us unsatisfied at the end of the meal. So much so, we all had a second meal after this dinner. Be prepared to spend $50-$60 for a decent feed, but even then, I wasn’t impressed with the dishes. Coupled with the cramped and uncomfortable seating, and the below average service, this place just didn’t do it for me.

Japanese restaurants are overpriced, and even more so at this place. I’ve had better yakitori at a shopping centre food court.

WHERE: 60/55 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide





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