We were both craving red meat after hitting the gym so we went to Gyu-Kaku at Chijmes for some Japanese BBQ. Although it was a Saturday night, we were able to get booth seats immediately. That said, it was past the peak dinner period because it was already 9.30pm by the time we arrived at the restaurant. Also, the restaurant doesn't have a dress code, which meant that we were able to dine in our sweaty tees and shorts. Besides, we do come out smelling like the food we'd ingested so it was just as well that we weren't smelling our freshest.
We ordered the Karubi ($18.90 for large), beef short rib marinated in Tare, a Japanese concocted marinade with soy for flavour, fruit juice for acidity and roasted garlic for aroma. The short rib was so marbled that we didn't need to order the wagyu version. We also got Buta Karubi ($14.90 for large), decadent strips of pork belly marinated in Spicy Miso, which lent a smoky sweetness to the fatty pork. The Chicken ($10.90 for large) seasoned in Tare was succulent and juicy. Gyu-Kaku offers up to 5 standard marinades (Shio, Black Pepper, Miso, Tare and Garlic), but I like Tare seasoning best, it enhances the flavour of the meat without overpowering it. Clockwise from top: Buta Karubi, Chicken, Karubi.
The Horenso Salad ($8), Japanese spinach salad dressed in a creamy sesame dressing and topped with golden crisp garlic slices and white button mushrooms is by far my favourite salad. We always order this when dining here.
The Assorted Bacon and Sausage ($14) was also very yummy, in particular, the Aburi Bacon. The pepper crust on the bacon gave the salty meat a spiced kick. The sausages were all delicious, except for the lamb sausage (reddish sausage). We're not fans of its gamey taste.
The Assorted Mushroom with Butter ($8.50) is another dish we, as mushroom lovers, never fail to order. This was stellar, earthy and buttery and bursting in mushroomy goodness.
The Corn ($5.90) was sweet and juicy. A pot of marinade and brush is provided to season the corn.
We expected the Cabbage ($4) to be shredded and flavoured, but it turned out a large chunk. This was difficult to cook and/or season. We didn't quite finish this. I think we'll just stick to the Horenso Salad for our fibre needs.
We ordered some seafood, wrapped in foil and grilled, as well.
The Prawns with Garlic in Foil ($14.90) were humongous, fresh and crunchy.
The Scallops with Garlic in Foil ($8.90) were juicy, sweet and succulent. I prefer the black pepper seasoning, the garlic somehow overwhelms the delicate sweetness of the scallops. The BF, being the garlic lover that he is, naturally prefers the garlic flavour instead.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
30 Victoria Street
Tel: 6333 4001
Open for lunch from 12noon to 3pm; dinner on Mondays to Saturdays from 5.30pm to 11.30pm; dinner on Sunday from 5.30pm to 11pm