Ikkaku is my favourite chicken shop in Takamatsu. It has its origins in Marugame, a small city/town that is around 30 minutes west of Takamatsu. When I was visiting Marugame to see the castle, I made it a point to visit Ikkaku’s Marugame shop as it was their home shop. I was not let down but I was not surprised either.
Of all of the Ikkaku shops, I had the highest expectations of the Marugame shop as it was their home shop. The shop is really close to the station but it doesn’t stick out. The inside is really nice but I only saw the first floor. The first floor is pretty spacious with a combination of booths, tables, and a counter. The counter area was split into seating for couples, but as I was by myself I had a small 2 person bench to myself. The design was a lot more functional than their main Takamatsu branch and thankfully I visited for a late lunch so the place was almost empty.
If you have never read my previous post on Ikkaku, it is a great place to get a nice greasy chicken. You can order either the older or younger chicken leg. The older one is a little tough so I always get the Hinadori, which translates into “Princess Chicken”. I was also able to try the gyu suji, which is basically stewed beef and innards that melts in your mouth. Out of everything that I have ever ordered at Ikkaku, everything has always been delicious.
If you have never eaten at Ikkaku, there is a small technique to eating the chicken. The chicken is dripping in fat so they recommend that you grab a few napkins from the dispenser and wrap the end of the leg in it; I usually use about 3 pieces. The chicken is salty and peppery but it is absolutely delicious. You definitely need a beer, or at least something to help cut the grease. You also get pieces of cabbage to help cut the grease as well as to sop up the juices. It really does wonders to help when eating the chicken.
I will always recommend people to eat at Ikkaku whenever they are in Takamatsu. Thankfully they do have shops in Osaka (Shinsaibashi) and Yokohama. Usually I don’t bother going to Ikkaku in Yokohama as I would rather go to other restaurants, and the one time I visited Ikkaku in Shinsaibashi it was not the same. The only other option is to get my fill of Ikkaku whenever I am in Takamatsu that will last at least a year or two. You can be sure that I will be back at Ikkaku the next time I’m in Takamatsu.