But back in the 1970s, when the Rolling Stones were yet unwrinkled, the master of CHICKEN decided to be different. He choose to sell chicken cutlets breaded and fried in the same manner as the ubiquitous pork tonkatsu joints all over the city. He’s been toiling behind his small counter in his cramped kitchen off a narrow alleyway at the top of Shibuya’s Dogenzaka every since.
The customers are mostly students or salarymen with limited budgets and big appetites. The “dai-ninki” big seller is the “3-selection set menu” of chicken cutlet, ham cutlet, and croquette for 650 yen.
If you prefer more variety, opt for the regular set menu which allows a choice of any fried selection in combinations of two (650 yen), three (800 yen), or four (1000 yen). Peruse from the selections on the hand-painted butcher paper menu thumb-tacked to the wall: deep-fried slices of onion, eggplant, or beef; minced pork and beef; whitefish; cuttlefish; or ham, chicken, or pork.
As is the custom with teishoku set menus, your order comes with a mound of freshly shredded cabbage, a big bowl of rice, and a bowl of miso soup.
The food is simple, tasty and filling. The vegetables are fresh. The meat tender. And the deep-fried chicken cutlets are a nice change from pork. Refills on rice or cabbage are available.
The joint is open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11am to 3pm. And for dinner from 5pm to 9pm. The master prefers to take his weekends off.
CHICKEN is located at the top of Dogenzaka, the underbelly of Shibuya.
Walk up the slope on the left side of 109 until you get to red archway of Hyakkendana and the garishly yellow-lit tonkotsu ramen shop.
Torikatsu CHICKEN: 2-16-19 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03.461.0298. Open M-F Lunch 11am-3pm. Dinner 5pm-9pm. Closed weekends.