Anyone who has ever been to a Japanese restaurant will surely agree that this is a nation that makes wonders happen with food. It is little surprise, then, that when the Korean BBQ craze reached Japan hundreds of years ago, the industrious Japanese took the idea and refined it, giving the world yet another delicious way to enjoy a taste of Japan.
“Not many people realise that yakinuku, or the Japanese BBQ, is actually very common in Japan,” I was told by Chef Fukino Tetsuya, who met me as I stepped into the neat and chic Gyuichi restaurant for my lunch. “People think it is only Koreans who have the BBQ technique, but in Japan it is hugely popular. We want to try and re-educate people!”
The re-education must start with a trip to Gyuichi, which is one of the only Japanese BBQ restaurants in the country and serves up yakinuku in the most traditional and authentic way possible, right down to the man in the kitchen. The team at Gyuichi went to Japan to taste food and to find a chef, tracking down restaurant owner and food lecturer Fukino Tetsuya and bringing him back to KL to man the kitchens at Gyuichi.
Authenticity at Gyuichi even extends to the grills themselves, brought over from Japan, that are fitted with special extractors that remove the smoke as you cook your slices of meat at the table. As with the Korean version, Japanese BBQ is a real social outing, and you can chat away as the meat browns before your eyes, enabling everyone to eat it just the way they like it.
Meat-lovers will be in their element, especially those with a taste for Wagyu beef, as Gyuichi import 100% pure-blood wagyu meat from where it is farmed in Australia and are proud to declare it as ‘the best Wagyu beef found outside Japan’. The menu also offers chicken, pork, seafood – “we serve anything you can BBQ!” we were told – as well as plates of sliced vegetables to tip onto the grill.
If you are not in the mood for BBQ, the menu has plenty of rice and noodle dishes, sashimi, soups and side dishes. .ere are a few options for children, as well as some impressive set lunches that cost from RM15, with the Wagyu-Style Hamburger set proving to be the crowd-pleaser. Gyuichi are even offering a special Christmas promotion, which is a great alternative to turkey for the staff Christmas dinner.
To continue the ‘real’ Japanese experience, be sure to select from the three page list of Japanese Sacka and Shochu, or opt for a Chilean or French wine. For something sweet to finish with, be sure to taste their Supreme Kakigoni – a Japanese take on ABC topped with a dash of moreish green tea ice cream.
“In Malaysia you get so much sashimi and sushi,” said Chef Fukino, “so what we want to do is offer something different.” Not only does Gyuichi tick the ‘something different’ box, they also offer something authentically Japanese and reliably delicious.
Fact File :
3, Jalan 19/70A, Plaza Prisma Ville
Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603.6205 2233
Mon-Fri & Sun: 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Sat, Eve of & On Public Holiday:
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This article was written by Sarah Rees
Source: The Expat December 2011
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This article has been edited for ExpatGomalaysia.com
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