The Japanese meats at this Robertson Quay spot aim to grill
First published on . Updated on 23 Mar 2012.
One of the newest places to savour morsels of self-barbecued meats is Yakiniku Yazawa at Robertson Walk. Serving the Japanese equivalent to Korean barbecue, Yazawa has been winning rave reviews and, after a recent visit, it’s easy to see why. But don’t come expecting a cloudy den filled with raucous beer drinkers. Thanks to the powerful built-in suction installed on the sides of the grill, the place is relatively smoke-free, and it’s quite a good looker, to boot, with banquette seats in semi-private cubicles, each of which is fitted with a grill griddle.
We focused our attention on the flame-licked meats marinated in either salt or sweet and tangy tare sauce. All dishes are served on small plates that feed two to three persons. Standouts from the meats that we put to the grill included plump and somewhat chewy tan, or ox tongue ($18); moderately thick jo kalbi, or premium rib ($26), that was plump with smoky, beefy flavour; tender and juicy tokusen harami, rough-cut beef strips ($25); bacon-like Korubuta pork strips ($15) that oozed umami; and thin savoury slices of ton toro, or pork neck fatty meat ($18) that glistened with generous marbling of fats. Kiri-otoshi, or cubed meats from various parts of the cow ($23) and geta kalbi, or stick-shaped cubes of short rib meat ($26) were flavoursome too, but the meats were cut into such tiny pieces that by the end of the cooking, they’d shrunk to pellets.
Admittedly, we picked the more affordable cuts. There are premium cuts, of course, ranging from prime rib ($38 per plate) and sirloin ($48) to tenderloin ($55 per plate). So, here’s the bottom line: Yazawa has fabulous meats. But come only if you have deep pockets and you’re prepared to part with at least $60 to $80 per head. EC