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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Iseya: Super Cheap Yakitori in Kichijoji

Difficulty: 0

[M] When some people travel to new countries

[M] they like to visit museums and palaces to get a taste of history.

[S] We would rather eat at historic places.

[S] This is that place. This is Iseya!

[synth and snare drum music]

[M] Now, when we say this place is historic, we're not like,

[M] "It's been around for 20 years."

[M] It's been around since 1928.

[S] Almost 90 years for this restaurant. [M] That's insane!

[M] So it opened up originally as a butcher shop,

[M] and then in the 1950s it became, like, an izakaya-yakitori joint.

[M] There's actually two locations, both, like, down the street from each other.

[M] You'll always see lineups for it, no matter what time of day.

[S] What I love about this place is how old it feels.

[S] You're gonna see smoke billowing all over this place

[S] because they haven't really upped the health and safety standards all that much. [M] [laughs] The ventilation.

[S] The ventilation is horrendous-- [M] It's awesome.

[S] You step outside and smoke is just coming out of here like a chimney.

[S] And also you can see old art from, like, back in the day.

[M] We're sitting in a chair and sitting in a spot that somebody from, like, the 1950s sat in.

[M] Imagine, like, all the history that's passed through here.

[S] This place is so shabby-looking,

[M] It's amazing.

[S] and it-- it warms your heart. It makes you so happy to be here. [M] Yeah.

[big band jazz and keyboard music]

[S] Now, one of the reasons why this place is so popular is because it's so freaking cheap.

[M] Now, for 80 yen a stick -- we're talking, like, under a dollar a stick--

[M] It's not the most mind-blowing yakitori on the whole planet--

[S] But I'm pretty sure it's the cheapest in Tokyo. [M] Yeah.

[S] Most of the places we know are, like, 180 or 280?

[M] We've had everything on the menu,

[M] and there are some absolute favourites that we definitely recommend you order.

[snare drum intro]

[M] Torikawa -- that's chicken skin.

[M] This sells out FAST.

[M] I think we've come here, like, five or six times [S] Yep.

[M] and we've only managed to have it, like, twice, maybe?

[S] If the sun has set, there's a very small chance that you will get this.

[M] Right on.

[S] I LOVE crispy chicken skin.

[M] The crispy burnt edges almost taste like a piece of bacon,

[M] and the center part's a little bit, like, chewy and fatty and has a taste of, like,

[M] ultimate chicken.

[S] This is chicken bacon. [M] Mm-hmm.

[jazzy drums and saxophone]

[S] Look at that, you can see the blackness from the grill,

[S] all the stains on there, oh yeah. [M] Oh yeah.

[M] It's really-- this is something you can't imitate at home.

[M] 'Cause, like, the grill has the flavour of all the meats and sauces on top of it. [S] Yep.

[S] It's like they haven't cleaned their grill in 90 years, [Martina laughs]

[S] and all that history you can taste in every bite.

[M] Okay, now the key here: you wanna have a little bit of green onion with a little bit of chicken.

[M] Makes it kinda like [two bloopy bite noises]. Put it together--

[S] You forgot the most important part! [M] What most important part?

[S] You have to sprinkled some of this stuff on.

[M] I'm going in.

[gentle jazzy saxophone]

[sparkling noises]

[S] Mmm. [M] Mmmm.

[M] The charcoal really bring out the sweetness of the green onions.

[S] The scariest part of eating here is when you get to the bottom. [M] [laughing] Oh yeah.

[S] I'm always worried about stabbing myself in the mouth and dying. [M] It's when you gotta go like,

[M] sideways and kind of, like, slide it off the edges.

[jazzy shoo-bop music]

[S] This is my first time doing this.

[S] I've seen lots of people do it.

[S] Supposedly, you're supposed to get a glass of shochu, and the table has this, like, plum syrup juice

[S] that you're suppose to pour in?

[S] I have no idea what it taste like! We're gonna try this out today.

[jazzy shoo-bop music with screeching guitar]

[M] Well, the syrup is quiet sweet so...

[S] It smells really sweet.

[M] I wonder if it's gonna be like umeboshi, like, ume--

[S] [forced] Still tastes like poison.

[Martina laughs] [S] [forced] Fruity, fruity poison.

[jazzy bass line]

[jazzy bass and synthy shoo-bop]

[staff speaking Japanese, chuckling]

[M] Oooh!

[S] Gangsta, son. [M] We have matching tattoos!

[S] That was gangsta.

[M] I like that matching ones. [S] Yeah.

[M] We both have cats, and we both have sakura. [Simon chuckles]

[S] I mean, come on, how could you go wrong?

[sparkling noises] [S] [echoing divinely] Shuuuuuuumaiiiii~ ♫ Ahhhhhh~ ♫

[S] It's, uh-- [M] I actually have no idea why shumai is on the menu, and it's not 80 yen by the way-- [S] No.

[M] But it is like, uh, chicken skin, chicken parts, chicken heart, chicken liver... shumai.

[S] And giant delicious dumpling. [M] Yeah. [S]: Okay.

[M] They're homemade, and they're always like, kinda pre-steamed, ready to go.

[S] Uh-huh. [M] Sometimes they're overcooked, sometimes they're not.

[M] It's just kinda like... [S] I can definitely see this one's overcooked, it's a little bit, like, tough on the edges. It's still gonna be wonderful. [M] Yeah.

[S] This right here is one of my favourite things on the menu.

[dinosaur roaring noises as Simon inhales his food]

[M] Oh, he just went for it!

[S] Mmm!

[S] The dough... so overcooked!

[Martina laughs]

[S] Little dry corners jabbing into your mouth.

[M] But the pork-- and the shrimp-- [S] But the flavor inside is so juicy and moist. [M] Yep.

[jazzy guitar solo]

[S] Now one thing I will say about this place: I think this is a place for old people.

[S] Looking around here, I think we're younger than everybody by, like, 30 to 40 years.

[S] Apart from the staff that's working here, that probably explains why this place closes at 9PM?

[S] 9PM! It's not a late night thing -- most yakitori places are open a lot later than this.

[M] They open in the afternoon though, which is rare, so, like, if you're trying to plan for your afternoon in the neighborhood, [S] Yeah.

[S] Yeah. [M] you can come here, come here for lunch...

[bouncy guitar chording]

[S] So that's it for this week's Food Adventure Program For Awesome People -- we love this place! I really hope that you check it out.

[M] Um, can we just mention that we sitting there, three of us at the table and the fourth chair was free,

[M] so they were like, "Sorry, we need to add an additional person," who happened to be from Korea?

[M] And we were like-- [S] And we spoke with them! In Korean! And it was great, and I feel like I'm home again!

[M] The two of us were like, "Squeeee!"

[S] This place is awesome, come here, enjoy it. [M] Yeah.

[S] It's got that grungy, dirty feel that you're gonna love.

[S] This is a famous hole in the wall, and you're gonna love it. [M] Yep.

[M] Now let run away from this shot and show what it looks like in the background.

[M] Ready?

[S] I pirouetted.

[S] I pirouette back.

[S] Did I emphasize how great this place is? 'Cause this is a really nice place.

[S] And I'm not sure if Dan can FOCUS!

[S] Because he had a lot to DRINK! How much can you focus?!

[S] Not that much.

[M] I'm coming back in the shot to tell you that we used to live around the corner when we first move to Japan.

[M] That's our accountant's place. [S] Our service department when we first moved to Japan was literally the building TOUCHING this building.

[S] We literally lived right beside it. We ate here all the time.

[M] Shh! You're talking like a crazy guy! [S] We didn't tell you about that.

[S] Oh my gosh, the crazy guy. Whispers. [M] Quiet down.

[M] Pirouette out! [S] We used to live here.

[M] Pirouette out. [S] Okay, pirouette out.

[jazzy swing music]

[S] It used to be sunshine when we started filming this video, and it's now really dark.

[S] We've been here for a long time! [M] Also, we had so many shochus, and shochus taste better at the end, right? [S] It's okay, Mar-- pirouette out.

[S] Pirouette out, pirouette out.

[S] Pirouette back in!

[M] Somehow everybody knew-- knew that we-- from YouTube!

[Both laughing] [M] They're onto us. How could they know? [S] How could they know? I don't know, I'm not sure-- pirouette out!

[M] Okay, pirouette! [S] Pirouette out, pirouette out.

The Description of Iseya: Super Cheap Yakitori in Kichijoji