Shimoda 1-6-8, Shimoda City
+81 (0)558 27 3330
As we enter our tenth month of existence here at Foodosophy, I’m reminded of one of the reasons why I accepted Foodosopher’s offer to contribute to the site (besides that fact that I was already experimenting with food photography) – I’m always on the lookout for new and good places to eat.
Taking a look through the various search terms that bring our viewers to our humble pages, I’m struck by the fact that I must not alone in having this interest. People are constantly seeking information and checking out commentary and reviews of places they intend to dine at, or perhaps at restaurants they recently have done so and are looking to compare experiences.
As good as online sources, published books, magazines, newspaper articles, etc. are at providing this kind of information, for me word of mouth plays a very strong role in deciding where I go to eat. Not just anyone’s opinion mind you, it has to be from a trusted source or from people that I feel that I have a similar set of food preferences and tastes with. Granted we won’t agree on everything, but for the most part we will, and its that comfort level that leads me to continue to rely on these sources.
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.