Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gyu-kaku CHIJMES

Beautiful binchotan
Finally, a meal that makes up for the dearth of good food (and blog posts) lately! We went to Gyu-kaku at CHIJMES for some Japanese BBQ, and it was mmmmh-so-good! This was truly a meal to remember.

BBQ is an experience
We had the Sakura set (S$168++ for two persons), which offers 12 items, including three cuts of wagyu (fillet steak, karubi and rump cap). Japanese BBQ is one of the best ways to enjoy wagyu, in my humble books. Seared very quickly over high heat, the meat retains most of its juicy fat that makes it so delicious.

Kimchee appetiser
We started with a generous platter of kimchee. I'm not a big fan of most kimchee preparations in Singapore, but this was okay. (Prefer the one at Aburiya).

Aburi bacon
And then they served the aburi bacon, with wholegrain mustard. Could not wait to start BBQ-ing these!

Assorted mushrooms in butter
Assorted mushrooms - sliced shiitake, shimeji, and enoki - in butter, wrapped in foil. Place this on the hot grill for five minutes and they'll release their heavenly aromas. This was so simple and yet so tasty!

Horenso salad
The waiter recommended the Horenso salad (you get to choose from Caesar, choregi, wakame or Horenso), which was fantastic. Baby spinach, crunchy bacon bits, garlic chips, and sliced mushrooms in Japanese dressing. Extremely refreshing. I wished there was more of this.

Platter of meats - wagyu karubi, fillet steak, rump cap, pork collar and chicken shio (replacement for duck breast)
The platter of meats for two - the wagyu cuts, pork collar and chicken. The set comes with duck breast, but we requested chicken instead since we're not fans of duck.

Let the sizzling begin!
Let the sizzling begin! Some people joke that it's crazy to pay so much to cook your own food, but it's all part of the experience. Fortunately, at Gyu-kaku, you don't end up smelling like BBQ - they really do a good job with ventilation control.

The pork surrenders its fat
The pork collar slices are particularly fatty. They released fat and juices onto the charcoal, creating flares.

I like my BBQ pork crispy!
I like my pork crispy and charred. The meats were all excellent. They almost didn't need any dipping sauce. But you get tare and ginger sauces as well as rock salt to enhance the flavours. I liked the honey-like tare and rock salt best.

Miso gindara - codfish in parcel
The last meat course was miso gindara in foil. Two slices of cod with carrots and mushrooms. Fresh and succulent. Pity it was so little.

Ishiyaki mentaiko
Ishiyaki mentaiko arrived at the end, in a hot stone bowl. Rice with cod fish roe. The waiter asked if we preferred ours soft or crispy (crispy, of course!), and then proceeded to mix the ingredients and let it cook in the scorching hot bowl. This is my portion, which I enjoyed with the buttered mushrooms and the fish.

Milk pudding
You get a choice of desserts (mostly ice cream and jellies). Hubby loves the milk pudding. Thick, firm and creamy pudding topped with caramel syrup and green bean powder. We almost went for a second one. I must learn how to make this!

Yuzu sorbet
Two lovely, snowy scoops of yuzu sorbet to cut through the grease. Great palate cleanser.

The portions of this set menu are not large but they fill you up just right. Very satisfying. Yes, it's a pricey meal (for me, anyway). But you can easily rack up the same expenditure going to two or three less-than-satisfying eateries. I'd rather just eat fewer times and come here.

For some reason, I can't seem to compare Gyu-kaku directly to Aburiya, which we also adore. They each have their merits. Aburiya is a bit more casual, Gyu-kaku more classy and upmarket. But both do Japanese BBQ well, with pretty good service so far. Hmmm, I want to go back already!

30 Victoria Street
#01-01/03 CHIJMES
Singapore 187996
Tel: 6333-4001
Open daily mainly for dinner
Lunch (weekends only): 12 noon to 3pm (Fri-Sun)
Dinner: 5.30pm to 11.30pm (Mon-Sat); to 11pm (Sun)

Other branches at:

81A Clemenceau Ave
UE Square #01-18/19
Singapore 239918
Tel: 6733-4001
Open daily
Lunch: 11.30pm to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6pm - 11.30pm

29 Lorong Mambong
Singapore 277687
Tel: 6466-4001
Open for dinnner only, 5pm til last order at midnight


  1. I enjoy the (expensive) food here too. Got the waitress to cook it for us instead. One funny thing is, Gyu-kaku is a casual dining chain back in Japan, unlike the upmarket image here.

  2. What a concidence, I went to Tajimaya Yakiniku @ Vivocity for Japanese charcoal grill and it did remind me of my visit to Gyu-kaku a few years ago... Find Gyu-kaku very expensive since a $80++ meal hardly fill me and my bf but the experience was great...

    Nice pictures and I can visualize the meat sizzling on my screen. The bimbimbab of Gyu-kaku is good...

  3. You just helped me figure out where I wanna go the next time I visit Singapore... ;)

    I need my Japanese food fix badly! Hahaha...

    P.S. Happy Chap Goh Meh!

  4. Ivan: exactly!! It's like McBBQ in Japan but here, we have to pay for the "novelty".

    Fen: I hear Tajimaya is also not that cheap. Was it good? Yeah, S$80 for two will probably not be filling. You need about S$100 per pax for Gyu-kaku. Ouch. But yum.

    LFB/Kenny: Hey, happy chap goh meh! Let us know when you are coming!

  5. Hi food fan! It's Alba, a Spanish girl on exchange in Singapore, enjoying the city and its food.

    Here my little contribution, it is a photoalbum about singaporean food, really usefull!

    And, one question...where can I taste the most spicy nuddles in the city??


  6. Hi Alba,

    I dont' really know where u can find the most spicy ones!!!
    Nevertheless, I often go to "The Orange Lantern", which is a vietnamese restaurant at Killiney Road. Noodles there are quite spicy and cheap!!

    Hope u like them!

  7. I prefer Gyu-kaku over Tajimaya but Yuan prefers the latter as the seasoning used is slightly sweet which is similar to an extremely tender bak gua...

    They are pretty anxious to keep the plates which was alittle disruptive for conversations...

    Pricing for Tajimaya is about $15 to $35++ for each plate of beef, they have 3 types, wagyu, black angus and australian beef... their set is for 2 is about $80++ (can't really remember) while for 4 is between $170++ (mainly non beef dishes) to $230++ (several wagyu dishes are included)

    $80++ to me at that time was alot of money as I was still schooling but i simply can't resist the bbq smell diffusing out of the restaurant...

  8. nice read...thanks. I did a post on Gyu-kaku's UE Square branch earlier:

  9. I have went to their branch @ UE SQ twice and I love their food!!! Their service is EXCELLENT too!!! Plus the food is superb with ingredients which are just nice.


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