Tuesday, June 18, 2013

GYU-KAKU: BBQ Smell Is For the Food, Not On Your Clothes


GYU-KAKU Japanese BBQ Restaurant (Fort, Taguig, Philippines)

I was so happy to hear that GYU-KAKU, the most popular Japanese BBQ Restaurant in the world, has finally arrived in Manila; however, I have been reading a lot of negative reviews about it and honestly, I was quite hesitant to try it out. But then again, I love BBQ restaurants so I finally gave in to know what the fuss was all about. I heard it was SUPER expensive, but upon checking out the MENU, I figured it was okay - about Php 650-800 per pax, I think. Well, not unless if you order WAGYU all the way then of course, your Php 650-800 budget won't be enough.

Below are some of the items we've tried - my personal favorite would be the wagyu beef tongue (oh how I wish SUSHI KUSHI TOYO has a branch here in the Philippines, too. They have the BEST GYUTAN ever!).
Ground Floor - GYU-KAKU Japanese BBQ Restaurant
I found the stairs too narrow, but Gyu-Kaku keeps SAFETY their top priority so be alert when you hear them shout something in Japanese - that means there's a hot charcoal coming.
2nd Floor - GYU-KAKU Japanese BBQ Restaurant
2nd Floor - GYU-KAKU Japanese BBQ Restaurant

HORENSO SALAD (Php 195)
Japanese style raw spinach topped with fresh button mushrooms, crispy garlic and creamy sesame dressing

OMG! If salads can be as yummy as this one, then I would want to eat salad every single meal of the day.

Fried Octopus (Php 245)   |   Assorted Kim-Chee (Php125)

Deep fried octopus fritters  |   Kimchi - chinese cabbage, daikon, radish, celery and apple

The octopus was like calamares, only bigger and softer. The kimchi was surprisingly good - not too spicy and sour. Plus, the apple added a sweet taste to the whole combination. We loved it!

Crispy Pork Belly (Php 275)
Perfect snack for kids! It's like chicharon liempo. Crunchy goodness in every bite.

Ishinabe Tofu Chige Soup (Php 225)
Tofu and pork in spicy kimchi soup served in hot stone bowl

This was just okay for me because Cafe Monaco's KIMCHI CHIGAE still tops my list :)

Ishiyaki Bibimbap (Php 225)
rice, minced chicken, seasoned vegetables topped with shredded dry seaweed and sesame seeds served in sizzling hot stone bowl

Just a tip: If you don't like the toasted rice underneath then make sure to mix the rice as soon as it is served

I found Gyu-kaku's bimbimbap lacking in taste and flavor, or maybe, I just love Cafe Monaco's bimbimbap too much that I get to compare all bimbimbaps to theirs :p


And so, the barbecue grilling begins.... We love their charcoal and grill. It was truly smokeless - amazing! Thank you, Gyu-Kaku :) We won't be smelling like BBQ after leaving the resto :p

Oh, and I love that they thought of providing you with another separate tong (the thinner one) for cooked meat :)

FYI: The charcoals are made from hard wood and are imported from Malaysia

Here are samples of our Gyu-Kaku "Customer-Chef" experience:
Karubi (Php 595 - Large, 150 grams)
Short ribs known as the "king of yakiniku,"  popular for its sweet flavor and tender texture
(Tare, Shio, Miso, Spicy Miso, Black Pepper)

TIP: It would be best to order your meat in 'tare' (sweet and salty) marinade because that is the closest to the original meat flavor.


This is Gyu-Kaku's best-seller, probably because of its really soft texture and good marbling that makes it tender to chew.

Side sauces: Sweet (left) and Salty-Spicy (right)
I did not use the side dipping sauces because I liked my meat in its original flavor. It was better when I added some rock salt instead :)

Harami (Php 295, Large - 150 grams)
Favorite among Japanese ladies because this is low in fat content
(Tare, Shio, Miso, Spicy Miso)

This would be the best meat to order that has a "Sulit" or "Value for Money" factor because it is less expensive than the rest; and, harami is meatier and tastes more like steak.

Shabu-Shabu Grill (Php 450, Large - 150 grams)
Thinly sliced imported tender beef served with home-made dipping sauce

This is best dipped in its own special dipping sauce. Just make sure not to over-cook it (20-30 seconds on the grill is good).

Wagyu Tongue (Php 495, Large - 150 grams)
Thin-sliced. Best suitable to be cooked medium and taken with a bit of salt and lemon juice to enjoy the juiciness and flavor.
My personal favorite!!!! 
Oh, GYUTAN, I've missed you ... 
I'll come back for you, I promise! ♥♥♥



GYU-KAKU desserts: 
Milk Pudding (Php 145)   |   Ice Cream Platter (Php 245) 
Sweet milk based pudding topped with soy bean powder and Japanese brown sugar syrup.
Ice cream platter: Vanilla, Black Sesame, Green Tea, Lemon Sorbet

The milk pudding tasted like milky taho but with a more gelatinous texture. The GREEN TEA ice cream was awesome - very rich in flavor! One of the best here in Manila :)


P.S. Service was great as well. I was actually expecting the worst, based on the other reviews but during our visit (off-peak hours), we were very well taken care of :)



Gyu-Kaku, we'll be back very soon :)



Related Post: 

GYU-KAKU

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W Global Center, 
30th Street corner 9th Avenue, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Contact number: 553-8962


GYU-KAKU Japanese BBQ Restaurant (Fort, Taguig, Philippines)

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JoTan is a Foodie, Travel Enthusiast & she lives her everyday life as if it was the last.

 "IT'S FOR THE EXPERIENCE" -- this is what she always tell people when she wants to do something FUN like Mountain Climbing, Rappelling on a Hanging Bridge (which was not determined if it was in good condition since it was a really old PNR Bridge), Eating Beef Liver SASHIMI (yes, the raw one) and even Jumping off the Plane at 15,000 feet.

She also loves to share the new things she learned, her adventures and other personal encounters through this blog :) 

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