Yakingtori is a cheap and cheerful Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori, skewered barbecue. It’s an easy-going place and serves as good fodder when you’re planning a night on the town.

Yakingtori a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

There are two locations, the newest on Julu Lu, a stone’s throw away from Found 158. If you’re thinking of a pre-game before hitting the pit, this is one of many options nearby.

The Kangding Lu location has been around since 2017 and remains to be extremely popular—advance booking is highly recommended.

The Food: What To Expect / Order

If you’ve never been to a yakitori (unlikely), a yakitori restaurant specializes in skewered barbecue. The crux of yakitoris, some would argue, is how well they do their chicken skewers. And Yakingtori does them well—the threaded cubes of chicken thigh (¥16/each) and chicken neck (deboned, ¥13/each) are juicy and come lightly glazed.

Chicken yakitori  at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

One other must-order is the chicken liver (¥13/each), which are scored and grilled, and come lacquered in the same sweet-savory glaze. The rest of the menu is standard yakitori fare with snack dishes and deep-fried skewers that go well with beer.

Chicken liver at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chicken Liver (¥13/each)
Spicy clams at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Spicy Clam (¥25) – Mildly spicy, good for snacking.
Deep-fried chicken cartilege at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Deep-Fried Chicken Cartilage (¥28) – Addictively crunchy.
Deep-fried seafood pancake  at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Deep-Fried Seafood Pancake (¥24)
Chicken wings at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Chicken wings (¥16/each)
Rib with foie gras at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Rib with Foie Gras (¥38/each) – Sinful, done well.
Beef at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Hanging Tender (¥68) – Lean, muscly cut of beef.
Creamy Mentaiko Udon at Yakingtori, a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Mentaiko Udon (¥65) – A high calorie carb bomb of udon and seafood in a thick white sauce. Drunk food, yes. Dinner food, maybe not.
Yakingtori is a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Japanese Yam (¥38) – Capped with a cheesy mentaiko dressing. A nice surprise.
Yakingtori is a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Tsukune (¥24) – Basically chicken sausage roll. It’s supposedly a best seller, but I didn’t buy into it as it was a tad lackluster.
Yakingtori is a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Deep-Fried Salmon (¥34) – Breaded, deep-fried salmon on a stick with salmon roe. It’s aite. Stick to the chicken.
Yakingtori is a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.
Salmon Onigiri (¥14) – If you need to fill up.

For drinks, highballs (¥35) are the way to go. They also have draft beer (¥25) and shochus and sakes from ¥220 per bottle.

In Summary: It’s A Solid Neighborhood Spot

I have to admit, it is not the most mind-blowing meal you’ll have. I wouldn’t say it’s somewhere you need to go out of the way to try.

Yakingtori is a Japanese restaurant in Shanghai that does yakitori. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

But if you’re about to pull a long night and have a group of rebel rousers, this is a perfectly decent spot to hit up for food and a couple of highballs. It’s just good to know it’s around the corner from where you live.


Yakingtori
Address: 2/F, 359 Kangding Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu 康定路359号2楼, 近陕西北路
Tel: 52728775
Address: 242 Julu Lu, near Ruijin Yi Lu 巨鹿路242号, 近瑞金一路
Tel: 52666066
Hours: 5:30pm-11:30pm​