[As with all of our posts, please click on any image for an enlarged view]
Ginza 1st Building, B1
1-5-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Hours: Mon-Fri, 5:30pm to 2am; Sat, 5pm-2am; Sun/Holidays, 4:30pm-11pm
With eight locations in Tokyo, and six locations in their homebase of the Kansai region, Kuruma has established itself as a leading group of restaurants under the umbrella of a company called Idea Co. Ltd. This conglomerate also operates another chicken-speciality chain called Torikagura, as well as a pair of teppanyaki restaurants called Midou and Kanrou, as well as a kushi-katsu restaurant called Dankeh. Kuruma is all about serving the very best Miyazaki Jitokko (commonly shortened to Jidori). Broken down, Miyazaki is a region on the southern island of Kyushu (which likes to call itself one of the “four season food baskets” of Japan), and Jitokko refers to an indigenous breed of free range chicken found in both Miyazaki and nearby Kogoshima. It is recognized that through agricultural research and cross-breeding experiments (involving Jitokko, White Plymouth Rock, and Kyushu Road breeds) beginning in about 1965 resulted in the discovery of what is known in present-day as Miyazaki Jidori (officially branded as such in 2004).
Sourcing from Miyazaki Jidori producers on a direct contract basis, Kuruma is able to bring the highest quality and absolutely freshest product to their outlets (apparently, gate-to-plate in under 24 hours). For comparison, consider that Miyazaki Jidori is raised over 180 days, whereas regular supermarket chicken is speed-raised in just 90-120 days. The resulting difference is improved taste, quality, texture, fat, lack of gamey smell, all without the use of growth hormones. Though this does make raising Miyazaki Jidori a very difficult proposition, and thus this premium brand is carefully protected both by farmers and their related industry associations. Sort of like the way Miyazaki Beef is as well. If you’ve ever had this premium beef, you’ll be even more amazed at what this prefecture does with chicken, and quickly understand why it can hold its own as a specialty restaurant serving only this product.