Matt Abergel is your typical Jewish dude from Calgary making Japanese food in Hong Kong.
He and his partner Lindsay Jang relocated to Asia after stints in New York (Abergel at sushi temple Masa, Jang at Nobu 57). Yardbird, their no-reservations yakitori joint, opened two years ago and quickly became the hottest spot in Hong Kong. This year, they followed it up with Ronin, a clubby izakaya spot.
Yardbird's logo | Matt Abergel
Yardbird, in true yakitori form, is a celebration of every part of the chicken including some parts we didn't even know were parts.
"We skewer the heart, liver, gizzard, oyster, inner-thigh, outer-thigh, upper-thigh, neck and even the soft breast bone," Abergel says. "We go through about fifty chickens a day. They're killed in the morning, and we sell out by the end of the night."
They try to honor the bird without taking themselves too seriously.
"We don't present the bird and tell you 'The chicken's name is Colin,'" Abergel says.
Matt Abergel's Scotch eggs
In an effort to find new ways to play around with chickens and eggs, Abergel looked that bar-snack staple of the former British colony: the Scotch egg (see the recipe).
Abergel subs in minced drumstick for standard sausage casing and soaks his soft-boiled eggs in tare, the dark sauce slathered on yakitori skewers. Cook in gurgling oil until golden brown, top with shredded cabbage, Kewpie mayo. Squeeze some lemon and salt on it, and you've got a classic Anglo-Japanese-Canadian bar snack that's fun to fry at home.
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