Skip to comments.Chicago Restaurant Barbecues Kangaroo, Alligator
Posted on 02/03/2013 10:01:25 AM PST by nickcarraway
Three eateries in Chicago's River North neighborhood highlight robatayaki. Yet one has kicked things up a bit on the robata grill, venturing into the realm of delectable and unusual food for Chicagoans.
What Is Robatayaki?
What exactly is robatayaki? Robatayaki is Japanese-style barbecue -- seafood, meat, and vegetables are grilled over a hot flame of charcoals, called the robata grill. Folklore chronicles this food preparation back to the 1600s in northern Japan.
River North Restaurants Trending With a Robata Grill In Chicago's River North, a trio of Chicago restaurants within a 1-mile radius proffer sushi and foods prepared on the robata grill. Because Chicago upholds a strict indoor air quality ordinance, these dining establishments have customized grills that don't use charcoal.
On the southwest corner of Illinois and Clark Street, Roku Akor barbecues steaks, seafood, and other usual fare robatayaki-style. Travel five blocks north, and SUMI Robata Bar (Huron and Wells), the latest arrival, focuses on the traditional Japanese robata-grilled cuisine (steak, fish, and vegetables).
The idea of barbecuing over a robata grill is nothing really new, but Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is the first Chicago restaurant to revolutionize it in River North. For restaurateurs Mike Schatzman and chef Chao, the research for unique foods commenced as a global expedition, tasting different street fare and foods prepared on the robata grill. After gathering six months of culinary intelligence spanning two continents, Chao developed what some might deem an intimidating menu. Chao unites usual ingredients with unique foods, such as grilled alligator and barbecued kangaroo, on the robata grill.
Unique Foods Off the Robata Grill
"Kangaroo tastes like a cross between beef and lamb, but without the gaminess," explains Chao. Union Sushi imports its kangaroo from Australia. To ensure succulence, the kangaroo bathes in pineapple and a soy seasoning
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It’s not kangaroo, nick. It’s kat.
If you ever get a chance, try nutria. It looks like a big rat, but it tastes like a combination of chicken and pork. It’s delicious!
Always wanted to try alligator — until I was in Costco recently and bought my dog a big bag of “Louisiana Alligator Jerky.” “Wheat free, corn free, no artificial anything,” or so says the bag. She spit it out and walked away from it like it was cat poo. Must be bad; she’ll eat anything. Thanks, sweetie.
I had kangaroo once at a vineyard in Australia
Once of the tastiest & most memorable meals I’ve ever had!
I’ve had bull’s tongue, gator, buffalo, ostrich, snake, rabbit, pheasant, bear, deer, and some unidentified “parts” from a corner wok in Hong Kong, so who knows.
Alligator is not so strange. You can get it at Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen in the Detrot (yeah, Detroit) area. Exceptional fare.
“... I had kangaroo once...”
I gotta ask... does it taste like beef?
In the sense that humans have been doing so (grilling meat over hot charcoal) for 200,000+ years, yeah, it's not really new.
LOL, who writes crap like that?
Gator tail Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm!! In the South we bread it and deep fry it but we bread and deep fry everything. :-)
I’ve had alligator at several different restaurants. One restaurant’s fare was excellent, the other’s was like trying to chew shoe leather. I guess it just depends on how it is prepared.
I’m sticking to ribs and wings, thank you very much!
Get back to me when they are frying up whale, spotted owl and falcon.
I wonder if they take a hint from one of Michael Keaton's characters and feed the kangaroo to the alligator's before they BBQ them?
Woomera, woomera, babaloo, boomerang.
Crocodile, kookaburra, wombat, orangutang.
Wee-ho, Wey-ho, Thurramungamine.
Quantong, billabong, gunner bluey pine,
Platypus, emu, wallaby, roo,
Ibis, brolga, the white cockatoo.
Nurra burra, carrah, coolamon, bankoo,
Boggabri, narrabri, nevertie, yanchor,
Hoopla! Hoopla! Ha-Ha-Ha!
Yanchor High School Ya-Ya-Ya!’
— From ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’
Or, perhaps the menu from this restaurant.
Yep. It’s very red like beef but sweeter & more tender. Like better than the best filet mignon! Deeeeeeelicious!
I hate to admit it, but yes. Breaded & deep fried, I guess anything looks edible. Include in that list calf brains, and tripe. I’m the one they save the gizzards for on Thanksgiving.
Oh, add to that list baked filled pig’s stomach & haggis.
Here in pa, ‘Hog Maw’ was a treat back in the 50s, and still is, in some places. I never had the ‘fortitude’ to try it, though the filling sounds edible.