I didn’t plan to blog about anything that day so I left my DSLR at home. Then I saw Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant. It was one of the newest restaurants at the Fort. How could I resist wearing my blogger hat? I ended up using my iPhone and taking pictures of everything that we ate at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant. That said, please pardon my photos in this post
I didn’t have any expectations as I haven’t read any of the reviews online. Actually, I didn’t have an idea of what menu they offered. When we arrived at around 11:40AM, it still felt early for lunch but after just 30 minutes, the place got easily filled up!
Gyu-Kaku is marketed as the biggest Yakiniku restaurant chain in the world. With over a thousand branches, I think they deserve the title. Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ restaurant first opened in Japan and quickly expanded worldwide (including franchises)! They have branches in Japan, USA, Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong, Malaysia, Thailand and now, the Philippines.
It took us some time to browse through the menu. There were selections on ramen, rice, pork, beef, seafood, salad and soup. All three of us are foodies so it was our common goal to try out as much as we can. We ordered ramen, bibimpap (a rice dish), two yakiniku items and dessert. It wasn’t as expensive as we thought. We were all full and satisfied after our meal.
- Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimpap (Php 195)
Rice, salmon, cod roe, and greens topped with shredded dry seaweed and sesame seeds served in hot stone bowl.
It was already picture-perfect when the bibimpop was served. But what made me like this dish are the beautiful mix of flavors and the yummy rice crunch! The three of us shared this dish so we ended up with just 3 spoonfuls. I admit I was longing for more after I finished my portion. However, I knew that we ordered some more dishes so we had to have space for them
- Gomanegi Ramen/Udon (Php 225)
Japanese ramen/udon noodle in special shio broth topped with egg, sesame seeds and spring onion served in hot stone bowl.
I do not know if I was hungry but I felt Gyu-kaku’s ramen was very filling! The noodles were tender and the restaurant gave us enough pork slices to enjoy. Broth was pretty tasty and flavorful too! Considering Gyu-Kaku being a Yakiniku place, I’m quite surprised that other variants in their menu tasted good!
Gyu-Kaku’s Specialty – Yakiniku
Yakiniku is defined in the dictionary as:
Style of cooking meat and vegetables over a charcoal or gas burner (or on a griddle).
In Gyu-Kaku’s case, they use charcoal, a special one at that! The charcoal looked so different that I asked what it’s made of. According to the server, the charcoal Gyu-Kaku used is made of saw dust.
I appreciate the service that the restaurant provided. At first, we were a bit hesitant to start the cooking. The server who prepared our cooking area gave us some valuable tips on how to cook what we ordered.
Some things that stuck in my mind: (1) place meat along the sides of the grill (because center area is especially hot) and (2) don’t let the juices come out of the meat by pressing them on the grill.
We were provided with two different sauces: Sweet tare and spicy. I prefer the sweet tare more.
- Buta Karubi (Small – Php 135, Large – Php 175)
Pork. Sauce choices: tare, ship, miso, spicy miso & garlic.
We asked for recommendation which sauce to use for pork. The answer was garlic so we had that. I couldn’t say that Gyu-Kaku’s pork had anything special but I felt it was just the same as other yakiniku-type of pork that I tasted.
- Chicken Thigh Fillet (Small – Php 125, Large – Php 165)
Chicken. sauce choices: tare, ship, miso, spicy miso, teriyaki, garlic, basil.
We ordered teriyaki sauce for the chicken. Isn’t this the popular sauce for chicken in Manila? As usual, nothing special but I just love how we get to enjoy cooking the pork slices on the grill. Conversations flowing included
- Ice Cream Platter (Php 245)
(1) Gyu-Kaku Ice Cream – vanilla ice cream topped with soya bean powder & japanese brown sugar soup (2) kurogoma ice cream – black sesame ice cream topped with hokkaido red beans (3) matcha ice cream – green tea ice cream topped with hokkaido red beans (4) yuzu sorbet – japanese yuzu citron sorbet.
Last, but definitely not the least, we tried Gyu-Kaku’s dessert which is the ice cream platter. It comprises of 4 different flavors: vanilla, black sesame, green tea and citrus sorbet. I do not know if the restaurant made the ice cream in house but it doesn’t seem so. If I own a restaurant and we make our own ice cream, I would market it as such. My favorite among the four is the black sesame ice cream topped with red beans. I guess when I order ice cream the next time around, I will choose an individual serving of kurogoma ice cream (Php 95).Assorted ice cream: Php 95 separate price
I searched through the web for reviews and was surprised by the large number of negative reviews. I guess everyone’s experience is different. My colleagues and I enjoyed our first visit at Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ restaurant. I wouldn’t mind going back to try their other dishes.
Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant
W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig