Best of DIY BBQ: Yakiniku vs. Korean BBQ vs. Mookata
Calling all Yakiniku lovers: Want to try Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant for FREE? We've got $500* worth of dining vouchers to give away. Read on to find out how to win them!
Don't we all love a good barbecue? Better yet, a DIY BBQ. With grills on the table and the control over how done you'd like your meats to be, it is without a doubt a fun activity - especially having your self-cooked hot sizzling meats straight from the grill and into your mouth. In Singapore, we're blessed with so many different types of DIY BBQ options like Japanese Yakiniku, Korean BBQ and of course, Thai MooKata. But how are they different from each other? And more importantly, where are some of the best places to go for a great grilling time? Read on to find out.
Sushi and ramen aside, Yakiniku is probably one of Japan’s well globalized dining experiences. This art of Japanese BBQ sprung up in Osaka before World War II thanks to Korean immigrants, whose grilling techniques were thus adapted by the locals.
Unlike Korean BBQ or Mookata, Yakiniku uses the netted Shichirin grill (with built in smoke suction systems), which allows direct heat from the charcoal to grill up neatly sliced beef wagyu – cut to an optimum thickness by trained chefs –allowing its juices to be locked in for that buttery finish. Best known for its intense marbling, the wagyu comes in a wide variety of grades and cuts such as: A4 rib eye kaburi, sirloin, flank etc, stealing the show from other meats like pork collar and pork belly. It also usually comes unmarinated, though you may choose to dip them in the provided marinades before placing them on the grill.
Some tips for a great Yakiniku experience
1. When grilling the meats, place the oilier ones away from the centre of the grill and around its circumference. This is to avoid the oil from dripping into the charcoal and flaming up, which would probably result in charred meat. You don’t want that.
2. If you have ordered a variety of wagyu cuts, be sure to taste them starting from the leanest/ least marbled to the fattiest/ most marbled to avoid any disappointment otherwise.
Here are some of our recommended places for Yakiniku:
1. Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant
Comic courtesy of www.cheftaro.com
What We Like: Affordable and high quality ohmi-gyu beef in generous servings
Expect to Pay: From $18.80++ for Kurobuta pork (150g; ala carte) to $138/$268++ for the Japanese wagyu dinner sets (2 pax and 4 pax respectively with 150g servings of wagyu beef)
“Quality comes at a reasonable price.” – And that is what fuels Arashi Yakiniku’s humble spirit. The charcoal grill restaurant sits along the stretch of Boat Quay with a minimalistic zen-like interior, a wooden sliding door and a private dining area upstairs with tatami mats to complete the authentic Japanese experience.
The food will not disappoint you, in fact the impressive quality of the A4 grade Sirloin and Ribeye wagyu (150g each), will leave you floating with satisfaction while the gorgeously marbled meats melt in your mouth as it greets your tongue. And if you’re in for the fully marbled-white A5 grade cuts, do note that pre-reservations are required. We’d recommend a bowl of their signature garlic rice to go with your succulent grilled meats, which complements instead of overpowering their sublime flavours.
Other tantalizing meats for the grill include the more than affordable kurobuta pork, featuring juicy cuts of belly and collar. With smokeless-grills at every table, the only thing that will permeate the air is hip Japanese music, so there’s no need to worry about smelling barbequed at the end of the meal.
Off the grill, other worthy items include seafood platters and soups – perfect for a balance from the richness of the wagyu and for a cold rainy day. Draw your attention to their Nabe Stew, which unlike a sweet Sukiyaki, has a salted soup base while the heated clay pot is laden with pork and seafood like scallops, prawns, squids and vegetables in a lavish amount.
Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant
48 Boat Quay
Mon to Sat : 1130 - 1500, 1730 - 2300
Closed on Sun
Photos courtesy of Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant
2. Ito Kacho
What We Like: A sophisticated dining experience with matching upscale Japanese Black-Wagyu on the menu
Expect to Pay: $50 for 80g of Premium Short Rib and $49 for 120g of Wagyu Tomo-Bara Karubi Plate
Japanese Black Wagyu air flown from Kyushu, is Ito Kacho’s pride and glory. If you’re looking for a more upscale Yakiniku experience, make your way to Mandarin Gallery for this one – known to be fairly star-studded with celebrity sightings.
Splurge on premium cuts like the Wagyu Toku-Jo-Bara Premium Short Rib and Wagyu-Sasami Flank Steak. The former is worth every cent with its fully marbled meat that melts ever so delicately in your mouth, while the latter is a perfect balance between meat and fats. For the adventurous, try the Wagyu Tongue, which only requires a careful 30 seconds on the grill before it turns unforgivingly rubbery.
Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road #04-08
Mon to Fri: 1130 - 1430, 1800 - 2300
Sat: 1130 - 2300
Sun: 1130 - 2200
Photos taken by Peh Yi Wen
3. Smoke House Charcoal BBQ
What We Like: The retail therapy with tons to choose from
Expect to Pay: Approximately $25 - $60 per pax depending on individual preference in terms of type of meat and quantity and $8 - $10 for a cover charge
Smoke House is Singapore’s first dining-cum-retail Yakiniku concept restaurant. The idea is simple:
Step 1 - Book your table at the Dine-in Cashier Counter
Step 2 - Select your BBQ ingredients & drinks at the Retail Counter
Step 3 - Pay for your items with the additional cover charge (Lunch - $8, Dinner - $10; entitles you with free flow salad, soup, rice and condiments)
Step 4 – Enjoy your DIY BBQ at your table
Shop your grill choices from a distinctly wide variety of affordable premium rare cuts of Japanese Wagyu beef like the chuck flap to other imported meats and Japanese side dishes. And before you scoot off to the dining area, keep your eyes peeled for a specially imported range of Japanese snacks like Otsumami, mini cakes, waffles, sweet potato products and homemade Yakinku sauces –personally handpicked by the Master Chef himself.
Smoke House Charcoal BBQ
Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade #01-37
Mon to Sun: 1200 - 1500, 1800 - 2230
Photos courtesy of Smoke House Charcoal BBQ
Meanwhile, turn to the next page for Korean BBQ and MooKata!
We have 5 Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant dining vouchers worth $100 each to give away! To join the contest, follow these simple steps below:
Step 1: Like the OpenRice Facebook Page
Step 2: Like and share this article on your Facebook Page
Step 3: Leave a comment below telling us why you'd like to dine at Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant
Contest has ended. Congratulations to the following winners!
4. happytummy dumpty
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