A Tokyo-based yakitori chain’s only location outside Japan is now open inside the Chicago area’s premiere Japanese market. Toritetsu opened inside Mitsuwa Marketplace at 100 E. Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights. It’s part of a now-completed makeover of the market and food court that included new seating, as well as refurbished ceilings, walls, and lighting.
Yakitori (Japanese chicken skewers) are a classic bar snack in their country of origin, and are traditionally grilled over a charcoal fire and seasoned with salt or tare, a thick, sweet soy sauce. Charcoal burns very hot and produces little to no water vapor, giving ingredients a crunchy, satisfying texture. At Mitsuwa, chefs are cooking with gas. Toritetsu’s menu focuses on chicken, including traditional yakitori and karaage don, or rice bowls with Japanese fried chicken, shredded cabbage, pickles, red pepper, and a selection of sauces. Beverage options include popular Japanese soda Ramune, tea, and coffee. The chain currently operates more than 70 locations across Japan. The full menu is viewable below.
Located along the wall opposite supermarket checkout kiosks, Toritetsu offers counter service where diners can select their skewers and pay before seating themselves in the food court. It’s beside Japanese confectioner J-Sweets, another new addition to Mitsuwa’s collection of shops, which offers delicate treats like Yoku Moku “cigare” cookies and Minamoto Kitchoan sweets.
Arlington Heights’s Mitsuwa location first opened in 1987 and houses a grocery store, Japanese bakery, a Japanese-and-English bookstore, and a variety of dining options. It’s owned by the California-based Mitsuwa Corporation, which runs 11 Mitsuwa Marketplace locations across the U.S.
Toritetsu in the Mitsuwa Marketplace, 100 E. Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights, open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday through Sunday.