Discovering Japanese BBQ

Yazawa comes to you direct from Tokyo. Not exactly but almost. I was in Tokyo on the weekend so I’m revived in my absolute wonderment and love for all things Japanese. It was actually during our stay there in July last year when we were recommended to try Yazawa restaurant near to where we stayed. It was the first night for us as a group in Tokyo and everyone was keen with anticipation. I’ll admit that Japanese BBQ is a safe bet, it’s hard to go wrong with a hot grill, genuine wagyu beef and fresh Japanese produce. We enjoyed an awesome meal with excellent service, they looked after us like the amateurs we were and ensured we ate very well. On leaving and chatting to the server he told us that they had a sister restaurant in Singapore, around the corner from my home in Robertson Quay no less.

Recently a few of us popped along there to compare notes with Tokyo’s sister restaurant. Yazawa describe themselves as ‘Yakiniku’ Yazawa, with yakiniku meaning grilled meat. The beef at Yazawa is ‘Kuroge’ that is the black haired wagyu beef imported directly from Japan and the consistency seems similar in Singapore as it was in the Tokyo branch.

The interior set up of the restaurant is relatively standard from what I’ve seen of Japanese BBQ. We were seated at a booth for four with a grill in the middle. Like many Japanese restaurants I’ve visited the restaurant is very dark with the exception of the tables that are lit up like Luna Park. Service initially was a little lacking but we were then appointed a new server once we started asking too many questions 😉

The menu offers a good range of wagyu cuts (sirloin, rib eye, chuck eye etc) alongside other standard Japanese dishes. It was a little disappointing that the dish we particularly wanted, a kind of Japanese style steak tartare that we’d enjoyed in Tokyo, wasn’t on offer. There was some discussion about it being done especially but we felt like we were putting them out and maybe it wouldn’t have been what we were after. We went with a selection from each section of the menu to get a good idea of what they did well.

The red meat always appeals to me in Japanese BBQ. I love the way they slice it so thinly and you need only try a sliver to get an unctuous taste of loveliness from the uniquely bred meat. We went for marinated Kalbi (a standard wagyu cut, pictured at top of page) to start which was good and this cut probably needed the marination to add flavour. We enjoyed this with a selection of vegetables, edamame and salad.

Next up were Udon noodles, a definite highlight, I’m not sure if they’re homemade but they were soft and just a little chewy making for a satisfying mouthful. I was a little disappointed in the bibimbap. I think it’s mainly because they took the large serving away to mix it up and I prefer to do my own mixing and enjoy watching the ingredients meld together to form a tasty mouthful.

Then it was onto the Zabuton, a cut from the superior chuck eye section of the animal, we paid $60++ for our serving (above) and elected to enjoy the meat minus any marination. It was indeed sublime, just enough for the four of us to really get a good taste. It was definitely my highlight. The chicken (tori is the name for chicken in Japanese – I’m often called Tori for short so I love that ) that followed was tender and given that it arrived after we’d already eaten our fill it still impressed the tastebuds. All in all a good experience of Japanese BBQ and very reasonable coming in at just under $75 each (tax included) for our food including salad, edamame, namuru (sprouts and pickles) and all of the above.
Yazawa
11 Unity Street, Singapore
#01-01 Robertson Walk (the entrance is on Merbau Street)
phone +65 6235 2941

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Penilaianmu: MagBe