What Are The Differences Between Robatayaki And Yakitori?

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What Are The Differences Between Robatayaki And Yakitori?

What Are The Differences Between Robatayaki And Yakitori?

The art of Japanese grilling is in simplicity. 

The aim is to enhance the natural flavours of the meat, seafood or vegetables rather than adding spices, sauces or other flavours. 

The master Japanese chef will deliver dishes that are entirely free of the smokey flavour that is often the bi-product of grilling. 

There are however a variety of different types of Japanese grills and knowing the difference is essential to meeting the right expectations.

At all types of authentic Japanese grills, the following should be expected:

  • Grilling the food is just as much about tradition and the ceremony as the food
  • Charcoal grills are essential and master Japanese chefs frown upon the use of gas. The use of white charcoal is also preferable over black
  • In a restaurant setting, the grill forms the central attraction in the restaurant although the exact format is dependent on the type of Japanese grill
  • Ingredients are of the highest quality
  • Spices, sauces and other flavours are rarely used and the simplicity of the grills allow the cuisine to speak for themselves.

Two types of popular Japanese grill techniques are Yakitori and Robatayaki. 

So what is the difference between the two and what can you expect from your dining experience?

What Is Yakitori?

Yakitori is the simplest form of the Japanese grill. 

“Yaki” basically means grill and “tori” means chicken and the technique involves grilling each part of a chicken to perfection. 

The chicken is always served on skewers and may be presented with the bone in or out depending on which part of the chicken that is being grilled. 

Vegetables and other ingredients are not served as part of the dish. 

However, a dipping sauce made of rice wine and soy sauce should be provided to give the chicken a salty-sweet flavour.

In Japan, restaurants have a Yakitori grill that is built into the table where diners can either cook their own chicken or a chef will cook the meat table-side. 

The dishes are relatively small allowing for table-side grilling. 

The dishes are cooked at a low heat to ensure that the meat is cooked through, remains tender and does not have any smokey flavour. 

However, this does mean that there is a significant waiting time between cooking and eating.

What Is Robatayaki?

Where Yakitori is the simplest form of the Japanese grill, Robatayaki is the ultimate grilling experience. 

“Robata” refers to the charcoal grill that is used and “yaki” to the grilling of the food. 

While some dishes may be served on skewers, other ingredients may be cooked individually. 

Unlike Yakitori, Robata is not limited or restricted to the grilling of just one type of food and can include beef, pork as well as vegetables and other ingredients. 

Once again, priority is placed on grilling perfection to enhance the natural flavours of the food rather than marinades or rubs and spices. 

Dipping sauces may be provided depending on the type of dish that is ordered.

Robatayaki is a social affair just like an Australian barbeque. 

The grill is normally placed in the centre of the restaurant or room and surrounded by a horseshoe, bar-style seating. 

Orders are given to waiters who then shout them to the chef or chefs cooking in the centre of the room. 

The Robata style of cooking and eating can be quite noisy and extended affair with small dishes being ordered continuously over a period of time.

The main difference between Yakitori and Robatayaki is that the first serves only chicken and the second different types of meat as well as vegetables. 

The grilling style also differs with Robata providing a large grill that cooks multiple dishes simultaneously and the small, individual grill provided with Yakitori.

If you are in Melbourne and want to enjoy an authentic Japanese culinary experience, you simply can’t go past Kobe Teppanyaki in Doncaster East.

For reservations please call us today on 03 9841 9889 or visit here https://www.kobeteppanyaki.com.au/booking for bookings and enquiries.

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