Being on a low-carb, low-fat and high protein diet (the Fiance is trying to get his 6-pack in time for the wedding) means that meal options are generally limited. Italian's a big no-no, so you won't be seeing any Italian food posts for a while. So is Japanese (sushi and maki all contain rice), Indian (curries are only great with plain white rice), oh, pretty much any Asian cuisine because we're so rice-centric. But, Japanese BBQ is perfect for us now because it's really all about meat. We brought a couple of our friends, Ray & Pat, who'd just settled in Singapore after having lived in London for the last decade or so, for dinner at Gyu-Kaku, one of 2 main Japanese BBQ chains here (the other being Aburiya). Apparently, Japanese BBQ isn't quite as well known or received as Korean table BBQ in London. In fact, according to Pat, she'd never heard of Japanese BBQ before! I suppose that in Singapore, we really do get just about any type of cuisine because we're so cosmopolitan!
We started off with our favourite salad, the Horenso Salad ($9.90), a Japanese styled spinach salad topped with crisp garlic slices, bacon dressed in savoury creamy sesame.
The Assorted Bacon & Sausage ($15.90) is also a diner favourite.
The coarse pepper crust cut through the salty elements of the bacon, lending dimension and providing balance.
The assortment of sausages, cheese, chicken and pork, are a must-get for a sausage-lover like me.
Ray & Pat got the Yakionigiri ($6.90) plain rice cakes, to supplement the meat-heavy meal. This was quite good lightly toasted on the grill.
The Chicken, seasoned in Tare ($10.90), a combination of orange juice, soy, sake and ginger, is the best complement, adding a little sweetness, acidity and heat to the juicy chicken chunks.
The succulent, simply flavoured chicken chunks.
I know a lot of people swear by the wagyu cuts, but we're really ok with the already-very-marbled normal cuts of beef here. The Karubi, seasoned simply in Tare ($20.90 for large), turned out tender, fairly fatty and moist.
The Buta Karubi ($14.90 for large) pork belly brushed with spicy miso for a little heat and a little sweetness to cut through all that fat, was decadently indulgent. The Fiance, of course, abstained from the layered-in-fat strips of pork belly.
The Buta ($17.90 for large), pork collar seasoned in Tare, was also very yummy, juicy and tender.
The Hotate in Black Pepper ($10.90), scallops bathed in butter and cracked black pepper and wrapped in foil, was meaty and fresh.
I liked the Gindara Ponzu in Foil ($14.90), an fresh fillet of oily cod seasoned in ponzu and garnished with julienned carrots, shitake mushrooms and onions.
The Assorted Mushroom with Butter in Foil ($9.90) was earthy and wholesome, its juices mingled with the unsalted melted butter. Just be careful not to overcook this or risk getting this dried out.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
81A Clemenceau Ave
UE Square #01-18/19
Tel: 6733 4001
Open daily for lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm;
Sundays to Thursdays for dinner from 6pm to 11.30pm
Fridays and Saturdays for dinner from 6pm to 12midnight