As you enter the foyer you are greeted with enthusiastic cheers of Irasshimase (welcome)! This tapas style Yakinuki (BBQ) restaurant boasts a personal downdraft, smokeless grill at every table where you’ll grill your own meats, seafood and vegetables to your liking. Its casual and family-style like you would see in Japan with a social, fun atmosphere.
The servers cheerfully help you navigate the vast menu of more than 100 premium food and drink items. For the beginner they suggest one of the set menu options that include starters, BBQ items and even dessert, assisting with grilling times and pairing sauces. And the seasoned diner will want to order à la carte two to three plates per person and mix and match the flavors.
For our journey we delved into myriad dishes and are delighted to pass on our recommendations and favorites.
For starters we enjoyed the Shio Cabbage, a light, crunchy dish of slightly sweet Chinese cabbage simply tossed with white soya sauce; The Spicy Cucumber, made with in house-made garlic sauce (a guest favorite) topped with sesame seeds; and the Spicy Tuna Volcano of sushi grade tuna rolled in spicy aioli, drizzled with ponzu sauce, resting on a rice croquette with a crispy outside yet moist and tender inside. All dishes we would order again. The addition of fresh, locally sourced kimchi adds a unique crunch and heat.
The meat list is extensive and they even have their own proprietary source of Kobe style beef that is exclusive to the franchise. The Kobe Style Kalbi Short Rib is so tender and melts in your mouth. With just a little salt and pepper added, the flavour speaks for itself. For an interesting twist grab a little chopped green onion, white soya sauce and roll it up and make a meat taco.
With so many other meat choices we decided on some of the other bestsellers to enhance our journey; the Harami Miso Skirt Steak dipped in red miso for that sweet flavour; the Lamb with Yuzu, a delicate flavor profile complimented by citrusy Yuzu marinade; and large, juicy shrimp marinaded in garlic.
The Beef Sukiyaki Bibimbap is a must try! A piping hot stone bowl loaded with rice, Sukiyaki marinaded beef, sautéed onions and Japanese BBQ sauce topped with crunchy garlic sauce. The server mixes it up table side then spreads it along the sides of the bowl to crisp. The longer you leave it the crunchier it becomes. Adding vegetables is easy with their ready made foil packets of Corn with Butter, Sweet Onion, Spinach Garlic, Assorted Vegetables and the Mushroom Medley of oyster, enoki and garlic mushrooms.
Just to make sure we covered all the bases dessert was inevitable. We enjoyed the Tayaki, a fish shaped pancake stuffed with bean curd that you cook on the grill to golden brown and a trio of ice creams. Black Sesame, Green Matcha Tea and Lychee with Coconut, all were delicious.
Their mission is to create a very welcoming atmosphere for all and we couldn’t agree more.
Arigatougogozaimashita! (Thank you very much.)
• Starters of Edamame, Gyu-Kaku salad, Fried Gyoza Dumplings, Beef Sukiyaki Bibimbap, Miso Soup. BBQ items of Kalbi Chuck Short Rib Sweet Soy, Filet Mignon, Bistro Hanger Steak Miso, Pork Belly White Soy, Chicken Thigh Basil, Shrimp Garlic, Assorted Vegetables. Dessert of s’mores or ice cream.