We've fallen in love with a new yakiniku joint. Whereas Aburiya was previously our first choice whenever a craving for Japanese bbq hit, Yakiniku Yazawa now takes a small lead.
Also located in Robertson Quay, the young restaurant low-lit and sultry, with an intimate setting of cosy booth seats, and swathed in shades of black. That said, my objectively tall dinner companions felt a little cramped by the low ceilings and hobbit-esque scale of the restaurant.
But, the draw is really the food, and the meats were exquisite, even if the meat-centric menu was decidedly limited. Unlike Aburiya, Gyu Kaku or Ito-Kacho, there isn't a variety of seafood, or vegetables to break up the monotony of regular meats like beef, pork and chicken.
And because the restaurant's small-ish capacity, there's that 2-seatings for dinner policy, which I personally detest. I like to linger over a meal, and not be constrained by a 2-hour time slot. At least the service staff pre-warned us about such policy, when they took our reservation, and also while seating us. A bonus: service was akin to a Korean-style barbecue, where we needn't bother with the grilling because the wait staff were on hand to do so.
The Edamame ($8) was ridiculously expensive, but they were fat and juicy, beautifully seasoned with sea salt, and served refreshingly icy.
A must-try was the Tori Momoniku ($16), bite-sized morsels of juicy chicken thigh marinated in tare sauce. It was awfully disappointing that the restaurant was left with just that one last serving, and ran out of chicken thereafter. We would've ordered another 3 rounds otherwise.
The Mangalica Pork ($22) slivers of chuck roll simply seasoned with shio (salt) & pepper so as not to detract from the natural sweetness of the meat, was delicious.
A surprise hit, the Ton Toro ($16) medium-thick cuts of pork neck glazed with tare. These were so awesome, we had like 5 plates between the 3 of us. For sure a cannot-miss.
There's just 2 types of beef, all wagyu of course, of Australian breed, or the in-house proprietary brand Yazawa beef. We had both, the first of which was the Australian Wagyu Jo Kalbi ($28), the premium chuck rib cut, steeped in tare. This had a fuller flavour, while exquisite threads of fat lent succulence.
The Yazawa Beef Misuji ($48), a precious cut at the corner of the shoulder, was exceptional, mostly because it was more fat than meat. This was glorious and indulgent and sinfully rich. We all have cholesterol problems, so a little went a long way, and we stopped at one serving of this.
The Yazawa Beef Rump ($46) was a smidge more delicate in marbling, so while it was decadent, it wasn't as heart-palpitatingly so. We had seconds.
11 Unity Street
Robertson Walk #01-
Tel: 6235 2941
Open daily from 6pm to 11.30pm