decent bbq-it-yourself wagyu (and more) at this newly-refurbished outlet of the gyu-kaku chain at chijmes.
the once-chapel has been redone, with a long stretch of mid-ranging japanese restaurants serving a range of specialties, from ramen to tonkatsu. this one specialises in beef, of course, with the marbled styles dominating a menu broken up with sides and a couple seafood options.
it’s easy eating – a comfortable casual-ish environ and good slabs of meat. and is it just me, or can you stare at that meat-flipping gif forever?
it’s family-and-friends-styled, with a selection of booths and tables with benches in a pleasantly dark (but not so that you can’t see what you’re eating) restaurant.
we started with a rather delicious cold tofu – right up my alley, with a sesame sauce, crunchy cucumber matchsticks and boiled chicken pieces atop a firm block of silken tofu. it’s a nice, seasoned-just-so way to start the meal.
but we moved on quickly, of course, to the marbled beef and pork belly dishes, which arrived sliced very prettily on wooden blocks. you have the choice of cooking it yourself, or the waiter will do it for you – and I recommend the latter if you’re going to spend time chatting with your companions (or you’ll be chomping away at the sides, or wastefully burnt meat
because you didn’t keep your eye on it).
cook it medium, dip it in the pink himalayan salt or the sauces – and you’re good to go. beware though – for the fatty cuts render their fat into the charcoal below, and could flame off your eyebrows!
I like the slightly leaner (slightly cheaper) cuts of meat, plainly seasoned with salt, but I especially like them with the vegetables sides to break up the richness. you have the choice of a spinach salad, served with bits of cooked beef and fresh mushroom slices, or crunchy cabbage leaves topped with a garlicky-chilli oil. the best thing about the cabbage is it improves even further with some time on the grill, so that it becomes soft and sweet.
it’s a surprisingly filling meal (that fat may not feel heavy, but it does satisfy quickly), and the prices are even more surprisingly – it’s an almost day-to-day luxury for beef at such prices. and if you’re not into beef (I would say, WHY NOT, and perhaps you shouldn’t be here), there are a couple chicken options (tender, and well-marinated), as well as small shrimp and scallops cooked with butter on the grill.
well-worth a visit, especially if you’re into something sumptious at the end of the day – but don’t want something too hoity-toity.
Prime Gyu-Kaku @ Chijmes
30 Victoria Street
tel +65 6333 4001
$$$: 50-60 per person (pretty good for marbled beef!)
thanks lester, for the meal!