Apologies for the lack of updates, it'd been bonkers at work, and I was laid up in bed with an aggravated achilles tendon thereafter. Suffice to say, I've been bogged down by one thing after another...and.......having to ration toilet visits due to my crippled state, well...I finally get how that's used as a form of torture. On the upside, I got to binge-watch the entire season 4 of House of Cards, which Netflix very generously released in one shot over the weekend! So, YAY!!
We haven't had yakiniku (i.e. Japanese table bbq) for some time, and as soon as I was well enough to walk, we headed straight to Ito Kacho at Mandarin Gallery. Although Aburiya takes the honours for having the best yakiniku, Ito-Kacho makes a worthwhile alternative. Its high ceilings and more efficient ventilation means you don't walk out smelling like your food; tables are better spaced out, so you don't feel like a tin of sardines; and it's seldom a full house like Aburiya, so food arrives quicker.
We generally pick the Jo-Karubi ($22 for medium), US beef short rib, over the Japanese wagyu, which the Hubs tends to find excessively fatty. This was well marbled, a beautiful shade of bold red indicating freshness, and simply seasoned with salt and sesame seeds.
We dipped it in the tare sauce given to us, before grilling it, for extra oomph.Absolutely melt-in-your-mouth.
The Kurobuta P-Toro ($14 for medium), lovely pink slabs of pork jowl streaked with fat, was juicy enough, but erred on the side of a chewy consistency. We also brushed this with the tare dip for flavour.
The succulent Chicken ($9 for medium) was already marinated, bonus points for that, and really scrumptious. A must-try.
A staple whenever we have yakiniku, the Kinoko Hoiru-Yaki ($6.90) of assorted mushrooms (shimeiji and enoki) drenched in butter, was earthy and luscious and totally awesome.
Ito-Kacho offers a decidedly limited array of seafood, and a must-try is the Hotate-Yaki ($19.80) a trio of plump Hokkaido scallops pooled with sumptuous butter, and spiked with pepper strips.
It's a much appreciated point that the staff will inform you how long to cook these for: 4 minutes for the scallops and 7 for the mushrooms.
Our favourite (healthy) snack, steamed Edamame ($4.50), sprinkled with salt for a little flavour.
A signature of Ito-Kacho is giant tiger prawns, and we got the fried version, Oo-Ebi Tempura ($26) lightly battered and skillfully fried.
Sauce as dips, like the lighter tare which we used to marinate the beef and pork, and a thicker spicy-sweet sauce that we used as a proper dip.
Ito Kacho Yakiniku
Mandarin Gallery #04-08
333A Orchard Road
Tel: 6884 6884 / 6836 0111
Open weekdays from 11am to 2pm for lunch; 6pm to 11pm for dinner;
Saturdays from 11am to 11pm;
Sundays from 11am to 10pm