Bite into it with plenty of tartar sauce! The boom is here! The Deep World of Chicken Nanban
Chicken Nanban, a local food of Miyazaki, is now gaining momentum. In addition to Kyushu’s restaurants, specialty stores and even restaurants operating on borrowed time have appeared in Tokyo. Owners who are from or have roots in the prefecture say, “It’s not just fried chicken.
Chicken meat is coated with an egg batter and deep-fried. The chicken is then soaked in sweet vinegar and topped with a generous amount of tartar. This is the standard for chicken nanban, but the owner’s attention to detail is evident in every detail. Let us introduce you to the authentic taste.
Banquet at an old private house (Sanda)
Banquet chicken nanban set meal (white meat): 1,200 yen
Shibi spicy chicken nanban set meal: 1,000 yen
While at night, this izakaya boasts Kyushu cuisine such as motsu nabe and chicken sashimi, for lunch, it serves only one dish, chicken nanban: moist chicken deep-fried at two different temperatures and wrapped in a fluffy egg batter. The chicken is deep-fried at two different temperatures, and the egg batter is wrapped around the moist chicken, which is then tossed with the sweet vinegar and rich tartar to create an exquisite balance. Other dishes are also available, such as the “Sibi Hot Chicken” and “Sibi Hot Chicken.
Address: 5-2-10 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11:00-14:00 (13:30L.O.), 18:00-23:00 (food 22:00, drink 22:30L.O.)
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays
Access: 6-minute walk from Mita Station (Exit A8) on the Toei Subway Mita Line, etc.
At Himuka Shokudo in Suehirocho, you can enjoy both the now-common type with tartar and the “Nobeoka style” without tartar, which is said to be the original flavor. The owner, who was born in Miyazaki, left his job as a salaried worker to set up the restaurant after being unable to find a satisfying taste in Tokyo. The restaurant has been open for only six months and is still very popular, with customers lining up to get in.
Another restaurant that also draws a long queue is Mita’s “Kouminka no Banquet. Another feature of this restaurant is that customers can choose from a variety of chicken parts, including chicken breast, chicken thigh, and chicken breast, and the moist and juicy fried chicken breast is especially remarkable. The tartar, with its rich egg yolk, is also excellent served over rice. The manager, a native of Miyazaki, has also developed a new type of chicken nanban, called “Shibi Mara” or “Lemon Basil” that you should try.
Tartare” in Uchisaiwaicho is open during izakaya lunch hours. Tartare is based on home cooking that the owner has been familiar with since childhood, and its light and refreshing flavors will make you want to come back several times a week to try it.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that all the dishes are the same. You should enjoy the individuality and depth of the dishes while filling your stomach.
Himuka Shokudo (Suehirocho)
Authentic Miyazaki chicken nanban set meal (one piece): 1,400 yen
Original Nobeoka Chicken Nanban Set Meal (half piece) 950 yen
The restaurant opened last September as a specialty restaurant after brushing up the chicken nanban, which had been a specialty menu item at a bar. The restaurant’s attention to detail begins with the careful preparation of the chicken, followed by the moist frying, the flavorful sweet vinegar, and the handmade mayonnaise. You can also enjoy the original “Nobeoka style” without tartar!
Address: 3-16-13 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11:30-15:00L.O., 18:00-20:00L.O.
Closed: Open every day
Access: 1 minute walk from Exit 3 of Suehirocho Station on the Ginza Subway Line
Chicken Nanban Specialty Restaurant Tartare [Uchisaiwaicho
Green curry nanban: 1,200 yen
Tartare Set 1000 yen
Under the slogan of “Gachi-Miyazaki,” the owner, a woman from Miyazaki Prefecture, started her business here in January this year, taking advantage of her free time at a bar. The sweet vinegar sauce, which is made with soy sauce from Kyushu and deepened with additional ingredients, is combined with herb-infused tartar to create a light and refreshing taste. The unexpected combination with green curry is also noteworthy!
Address: 1-5-5 Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11:30 – 14:00 (13:30 L.O.)
Access：2 min. walk from Uchisaiwaicho Station (Exit A4a) on Toei Mita Line on Sat.
Miyazaki Fudo Kuwanne (Shinjuku)
Chicken Nanban with young Miyazaki chicken 1,200 yen
Kazunobu Kubota of the comedy duo Toro Salmon, a native of Miyazaki, called this dish “the real thing. Fresh young chicken thighs from the prefecture are used. The sweet vinegar with lemon and the rich and thick tartar are a perfect match. You will not be able to stop drinking beer and eating rice!
Address: Shinjuku Miyazaki Kan KONNE 2F, 2-2-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11:00-14:30L.O., 17:00-23:00 (22:30L.O.)
Closed: Same as the facility’s closing days
Access: 1 min. walk from South Exit of Shinjuku Sta. on JR Yamanote Line, etc.
Uozantei Shibuya Branch 【Shibuya
Chikin Nanban Set Meal: 1,200 yen (add cold soup for 200 yen)
Founded about 40 years ago, this restaurant pioneered the spread of Miyazaki cuisine and authentic shochu in Tokyo. The chicken nanban, a recipe that has remained unchanged, uses juicy thigh meat. The slightly thick egg batter is filled with sweet vinegar, which is complemented by the richness of the tartar, which is not too sweet. Miso soup can be changed to cold soup, allowing you to enjoy Miyazaki’s specialties all at once!
Address: 2F Fontis Building, 2-23-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 11:30-14:15 (13:30L.O.) *on weekdays only, 17:30-23:30 (food 22:30, drinks 23:00L.O.)
Holidays: Sunday and national holidays
Access: 4 min. walk from Exit A0 of Shibuya Sta. on the Hanzomon Subway Line, etc.
From the March 31 and April 7, 2023 issues of FRIDAY
Interview and text by Ikuko Nanayama： Ikuko Nanayama PHOTO： Kojima Noboru Nishizaki Shinya