My colleagues Asian Persuasion and What’s Up Hamsup are trouble. The last time I went out with them I came home and vomited so violently, my husband thought I turned. I was just about to leave the office when Asian Persuasion persuaded me to join them for happy hour at Shokunin. Before we go on, let’s listen to appropriate music to read along, Britney Spear’s Work B**ch.
We made it just in time for happy hour (3:00-5:00pm). You can get a select cocktail, a draft beer or house sake for only $5.00. That particular day, select skewers went for only $2.00.
The Kiiro cocktail was delish. Made with Beefeater gin, ginger and lime cordial, it reminded me of my favourite drink at Vie Cafe, ginger kombucha. So good in fact, I drank two.
Then came the skewers. We ordered chicken skin, thigh, ass, and drummettes. Everyone had their favourite, this time around, chicken ass was mine.
The thigh was beautifully cooked, with the distinctive taste of charcoal. I like it when the meat is blacken on the edges because of the more intense flavour.
The chicken ass at Shokunin was mighty fine. The meat was fatty and came blisteringly hot and crispy.
When the chicken karrage ($11) came out, I actually drooled out of the corner of my mouth. I was relieved my husband wasn’t there to see me salivating, as I’m sure it’s a real turn off. That day, the karrage was made out of breast meat, as the restaurant was out of thighs. The chicken was so moist that I didn’t even notice. The batter had its trademark crunch.
What’s Up Hamsup and Asian Persuasion thought Shokunin’s tempura squid ($12) was the best they ever ate. The squid was tender. The batter was light and melted on your tongue.
We ordered the beef tongue gyoza ($9), as our favourite server Moto recommended it to my friends. This time around, I thought the dumplings were amazing. The gyoza was nice and crispy on the outside while the juicy meaty interior was super flavourful. Much better than the last time I ate it. I detected a spicy heat, which I think may have stemmed from the dipping sauce.
The owner and chef of Shokunin, Darren MacLean sent out a complimentary dish. The daily forage, Tempura Asparagus with Morels. Oh my goodness. My vegetarian friends all need to try this dish. The grilled morels were soft and that sauce, a miso hollandaise was amazing. The asparagus stalk was lightly battered, similar to that stellar fried squid. Best dish of the evening.
How much was 12 skewers, an order of squid, karrage, gyoza, and five premium cocktails ? With tax and a 20% tip, it was only $34 dollars a person. I don’t normally do happy hour as it interferes with my daily yoga practice, but for this quality and price, I make it work b**ch!.