One day I was working and suddenly felt like stopping by a restaurant I went to a year ago. It was still cold and I wanted to eat some nabe…so I called for a reservation at the end of the workday. Even though it was a busy time for the restaurant, the owner’s warm voice said, “It’s totally fine! I was so glad to hear the warm voice of the owner, and headed for the restaurant in Kitashinchi, Osaka….
Jidori Cuisine Hinaiya｜Specializing in Hinai Jidori chicken in Kitashinchi, Osaka, offering carefully selected chicken meat and safe and reliable ingredients.
The name of the restaurant is “Jidori Cuisine Hinaiya. As the word “hinai” suggests, this restaurant specializes in Hinai Jidori chicken. Hinai Jidori chicken is Akita. Akita means Kiritanpo. That’s right. What I wanted to eat that day was Kiritanpo hot pot with Hinai Jidori chicken.
Unfortunately, the kiritanpo nabe was not available because reservations were required until the day before. I had been curious about this dish for a long time. What would a bowl of oyakodon made with carefully selected ingredients taste like?
Ohori: “Oyakodon, please.”
Waiter “It will take about an hour and a half, because we start from soaking the rice.”
What a surprise, they start by soaking the rice in water upon receiving the order. What an obsessive way…or is it simply a business reason to avoid waste? Oyakodon is a dish that is readily available to the public and is by no means a high-end menu item. And where on earth is the need to spend 90 minutes to make it?
So, my plan to just finish my meal quickly and go home early fell apart. While waiting for my 90-minute oyakodon, I decided to order something else while drinking a draft beer.
The menu at this restaurant is quite thick, but like in an izakaya (Japanese style bar), you can’t order that many dishes. In fact, about half of the thick menu is information with pictures of the people who provide the food to Hinaiya. With the exception of one particular ingredient, all suppliers are on this list. (By the way, the name of the one ingredient that is not listed is written somewhere in this article.)
Hinai Chicken Yakitori: No chicken smell at all! Three rare parts with concentrated meat flavor and fat
All of Hinaiya’s yakitori are quite expensive at around 600 yen each. This is about five times the price of yakitori at a popular izakaya (Japanese style bar). However, if you are put off by this, you will not be able to enjoy the highest quality yakitori. Just for today! I ordered three kinds of yakitori, focusing on the parts that seem to be particularly difficult to eat.
Of the three I ordered, this liver came out first…
Really, it came out within minutes of ordering. I thought it might be raw. Don’t worry, you may have wondered for a moment if it was undercooked. Hinai Jidori chicken livers grilled over binchotan charcoal are well heated all the way to the inside. And because it is not overcooked, it remains soft and tender all the way through. This tenderness and flavor is comparable to that of foie gras served in a high-class French restaurant.
The next grilled dish is the Harami (skirt steak)….
It takes four to five chickens to get one quantity of these halami skewers. As you can see from the picture, the entire skewer is constantly overflowing with fat. The fat is not only fatty, but the meat has a concentrated flavor, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that this skewer is the only way to understand the deliciousness of Hinai Jidori chicken.
And the third Bonjiri…
This is another rare part of the meat; it takes several chickens to make one skewer. The meat, shaped like a garlic clove, is crispy on the surface and has a perfect balance of muscle and fat inside.
Hinai Jidori Chicken Thigh Grilled in a Single Piece: This grilled chicken thigh can be found only in…
Next up is a grilled Hinai Jidori chicken thigh (1,300 yen for 100 grams). A single thigh is skewered and slowly grilled over binchotan charcoal. One piece usually weighs about 350 grams, which is too much for one person to eat, so we ordered a half-size piece.
The headline of this item, “There is no other place in Japan that can cook this way…” is a phrase from Hinaiya’s menu, and once you try it, you will nod your head in confidence. Not only is the skin crispy, but the meat inside is tight and resilient (as opposed to over-heated and tough).
The fat from the skin moistens the meat, which then absorbs the salt on the plate and sublimates into an exquisite sauce. The thigh meat eaten with the sauce is… well, you will have to experience it for yourself.
Hinai Jidori oyakodon takes 90 minutes from order to completion: what makes it different from oyakodon at other restaurants?
And so an hour and a half passed. Truly 90 minutes after the order was placed, the long-awaited oyakodon was ready.
What was going on in the kitchen during this time…the rice was lightened and soaked in water, and after a while, the rice began to cook in a pot for one…and so on. As the rice was cooking, three eggs were cracked and the chicken was cooked in a pot with the broth. When the chicken was cooked, the beaten eggs were added. Finally, the ingredients are poured over the rice in a hittsu, and the dish is ready to serve.
As you can see from the image, the half-boiled egg in this oyako-don is in a tender state. However, don’t you feel a shiny shine to it? This is the collagen of Hinai Jidori chicken.
Each grain of rice is cooked to a crisp and chewy texture. The rice is freshly cooked in a cauldron. Add to this the half-boiled egg and the elastic chicken thigh…how could it not taste good?
But the story does not end here. While the egg in a hot oyakodon gets hotter and firmer with time, the bowl as a whole cools down. This usually reduces the taste of oyakodon by half…
This is where the collagen from the Hinai Jidori chicken reappears. As the bowl cools down, the collagen gradually turns from a liquid state to a thick and pulpy state. If you scoop the rice with a bamboo whisk in this state, the collagen should be stringy under the whisk.
In other words, when the oyako-don cools down, the collagen turns into egg and makes the rice tender. Who could have predicted such a state in advance?
If it is so full of collagen, it must have amazing beauty benefits… If it appeals to women, it could be a big hit.
Kiritanpo nabe with Hinai chicken: Hinai chicken, burdock root, maitake mushrooms, Japanese parsley… Enjoy the taste of Akita with Inaniwa udon noodles at the end of the meal!
It had been about a week since I had oyakodon… I made a reservation the day before and came back to try kiritanpo nabe, and even though it was March, the weather was still chilly and quite nice for a potluck.
Hinaiya will prepare the nabe for one person if you make a reservation in advance. Isn’t it very luxurious to have a nabe for one in Kitashinchi? It fits the concept of this blog.
But that aside, here is the Kiritanpo nabe we are looking for: 3,000 yen/person…
Kiritanpo, chicken, motsu (pork), konnyaku, leeks, maitake mushrooms, and Japanese parsley in a soy sauce broth made from Hinai chicken and burdock root… The broth has a very clear and delicate flavor with no cloying taste. The kiritanpo, which has absorbed the broth, and the chicken meat, which is the source of the broth, pass gently from mouth to stomach from start to finish. I think I would rather enjoy this nabe by myself than with a group of friends…
When the contents of the pot were gone, additional Inaniwa udon noodles were added…
Zosui is the standard way to end a nabe, but to be honest, zosui is a waste of time in this nabe. But to be honest, it is a waste to serve zosui in this nabe. The taste of the clear broth will be changed by the taste of the rice and eggs. At home, that is one thing, but when you have tasted a moist and delicate dish at a high-class restaurant, you want to keep it that way until the very end.
Inaniwa udon can fulfill this great role beautifully. Inaniwa udon is one of the three major types of udon in Japan, and in contrast to Sanuki udon, Inaniwa udon is thin and graceful. It blends beautifully with the clear and delicate broth and finishes off a blissful time in an elegant and unspoiled way.
If you can’t get Hinai Jidori here, you might as well give up on chicken dishes… To get to Jidori Cuisine Hinaiyaa, a 7-minute walk from JR Osaka Station (Osaka Metro Umeda Station)
Now, here are the details of the restaurant.
Address: 6F, 1-10-16 Sonezakishinchi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Phone number: 06-6344-1718
Business hours: 18:00-23:00
Parking: No parking (use coin parking nearby)
Credit card payment: Accepted
The store is located on the 6th floor of a building just south of Osaka Station via the underground passage and just outside exit 1123 of JR Kitashinchi Station, marked by a convenience store on the first floor.
Now, let us reveal the store’s only secret ingredient. It is salt. This is a trade secret. It seems that it took a lot of effort to find it.
In fact, many of Hinaya’s dishes, including yakitori, are seasoned only with salt. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this “secret salt” is what makes Hinaya’s taste so special.
P.S. If you are looking for delicious Japanese food in Osaka, please stop by this article…
- The Gatehouse｜有名シェフ監修のモーニングで朝からリッチな気分に