Chicken, Re-discovered: Ichiwa Kujiranomi 一羽鯨吞
When Apple Hou, 41, of Ichiwa Kujiranomi
first met her husband, it was at the same spot where the restaurant is currently located. “Back then, it was an izakaya where we were both working in,” says Hou. Ichiwa Kujiranomi, which means ‘light as a feather, ravenous as a whale’, specialises in presenting each part of a chicken in a different way. So, you may find the leg salted and grilled over charcoal; the loin, liver, and breast seasoned with sesame, salt, and orange vinegar, torched, and sliced for a ‘sashimi’; and the springy diaphragm fried with spices.
“It’s taken me ten years to experiment with using these lesser known cuts, but it’s exactly what I like to do,” says Chef Lin Chih Sheng, 40. For a collagen hot pot, also known as ‘beauty pot’, chicken bones are simmered over eight hours for a milky white broth. Mushrooms, silken tofu, pumpkin, cabbage, and minced chicken balls are added for a sumptuous, nutritious, and satisfying finish. “It was for family’s sake that we moved back down to Tainan after working in Taipei,” says Hou. “We hope to continue refining our techniques and presenting our cuisine to guests.”