Friday, July 11, 2014

Gyu-Kaku (Japanese BBQ Restaurant)

On my recently concluded birthday last week, I celebrated my birthday 4 times.  Once with my family, once with my in-laws, once with my girls, and once with my guy best friend.  I only got to document one.  BOO!  Blame it on the crazy diet I went on a few weeks before my birthday.  It made me want to eat everything on sight!  So it's a good thing I remembered to document this one before gobbling up everything, LOL!  The restaurant?  Gyu-Kaku.  I've seen this Japanese BBQ restaurant for quite some time now, almost always when I pass by the Fort.  But it's only when they opened in the new East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza that I finally decided to try it.  It wasn't even planned, I had a craving for meat that day and this was the restaurant that seemed to be the answer to my craving.  Here we go!

Kaisen Chijimi
Korean style seafood pancake

Truth be told, I'm not even sure if this is a Japanese or a Korean restaurant.  They definitely have some Korean food injected into their menu, but I was a happy camper when I saw that they had the Korean pancake, one of my go-to orders whenever in a Korean restaurant.  Although, I regretted it immediately after my first bite.  It was wayyyyy spicy!!!  Yes, spicy with THREE exclamation points!  Gahhh my tongue!  And to think that the server told us that it wasn't supposed to be spicy at all!


Fried Octopus
Deep fried octopus fritters served with Thai chili sauce

After the episode with the spicy Korean pancake, the fried octopus was a welcoming sight.  It was yummy and crunchy, and the Thai sweet chili sauce was the perfect accompaniment.  Not too spicy either.

Ishiyaki Bibimbab with Egg
Rice, minced chicken, seasoned vegetables topped with shredded dry seaweed and sesame seeds served in sizzling hot stone bowl


Another dish that failed us.  The rice in the bibimbab was tough to chew, and thus, hard to swallow.

Karubi (USA) - Shio (Salty)
Short ribs tha is known as the "king of yakiniku" popular for its sweet flavor and tender textures

For our mains, we had two kinds of beef.  The USA Karubi and the Wagyu Karubi.  I wanted to try out both and see the difference for myself.  The first one we tried was the US Karubi.  Just look at that marbling!


The US Karubi

US Karubi ready to eat!
The meat was tender, although the aroma of the beef was a little light.


Wagyu Karubi (Wagyu Oyster Blade) - Tare (Sweet)

High marbling cuts melts in your mouth with its rich flavor and juiciness

This was the second plate.  We saved the best for last.  And yes, it really was the best.  I was a bit hesitant when the server laid down the plate on our table.  The meat was too dark!  And the marbling was less than the US Karubi one.  Might it be less delicious too?  It appears that my initial thoughts were too premature because one bite proved that the Wagyu Karubi was actually really good.  The meat was tender and the aroma was really evident.  I also liked the sweet marinade better than the salty one.


Gyu-Kaku Ice Cream


Vanilla ice cream topped with soya bean powder and Japanese brown sugar syrup

For our dessert, we were given a complimentary scoop of Gyu-Kaku ice cream.  I was pretty excited to read that it includes soya bean powder, but strangely, I never tasted the soya bean powder at all.  It tasted like normal vanilla ice cream with brown sugar syrup.


Overall, there were definite hits and misses with Gyu-Kaku.  Lesson learned is that we should just stick to the restaurant specialties and steer clear of the other dishes.  3 out of 5 stars.


Gyu-Kaku is at Mid-Level 2/3, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, EDSA cor. Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City

1 comment:

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