It's Time You Tried a Different Kind of Asian Barbecue

Mitasu Charcoal Yakiniku
785 Banawe Street, Quezon City
Contact: 253-1081
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.




( It’s really no surprise that DIY barbecue restaurants have recently become a hit. They satisfy your love for meat while also letting you get a little more hands-on with your food. You won’t be bored at the dinner table, that’s for sure.



Recently, more and more people have gotten into Korean barbecue, but if you ask Keiko Ann Sato of Fredley Food and Beverages, it’s time to pay attention to a kind of grilling that’s similar but lesser-known: Yakiniku or Japanese barbecue.



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“We noticed that most of the barbecue places here in Banawe were K-barbecue places,” Keiko says. “That was when we thought, ‘Why not open a yakiniku place?’” The result is Mitasu Charcoal Yakiniku, which shares space with the group’s other concept, Shabu Shabu Ichiban.


Fredley Food and Beverages are no strangers to Japanese barbecue. After all, they’re also behind Sandaya Yakiniku, which has been around for over 17 years. But at Mitasu, they go back to basics with their grill, using charcoal stoves instead of electric ones. “Charcoal, we noticed, really brings out a different kind of flavor in the meat,” says Keiko.


Keiko admits that using charcoal can be difficult—it isn’t as easy, after all, as simply turning a knob on the stove. “Charcoal takes time to light up,” she shares. “We got this machine from Taiwan that can light up charcoal in 10 seconds. But you also run the risk of accidents, especially if you rush the staff.”



Premium Assorted Barbecue Set


Still, you understand why they decided to take the risk anyway, especially when you get the first bite of beef, the charcoal giving it a subtle smoky flavor that goes well with the sweet-spicy yakiniku dipping sauce. For a grilled meat feast, you can’t go wrong with the Premium Assorted BBQ Set (P1,600/500 grams, P2,700/900 grams). This’ll get you a tray laden with different cuts of beef: Hanging tender, chuck tender, Australian Wagyu striploin, Australian Wagyu cube roll, U.S. boneless short rib, and Kalbi rib-eye (or Korean rib-eye). While you can’t exactly identify which cut is which once you pile it all on the grill, every piece is as buttery-soft and juicy as can be (that is, if you cook your beef right, though you can always ask the staff for help). The Premium Assorted BBQ Set will also get you Japanese rice, miso soup, and lettuce to wrap your beef in.





Aside from the meat sets, Mitasu Yakiniku also has an extensive menu of other Japanese favorites. The Unagi (P520) is a great side to the yakiniku sets. The grilled eel is melt-in-your-mouth soft, sticky-sweet, and goes well with rice.



Grilled Chicken Salad


If you’re not a salad eater, the Grilled Chicken Salad (P280) may just be what converts you. Sizeable chunks of teriyaki-glazed grilled chicken sit on top of a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and more. The generous drizzle of mildly sweet Japanese mayonnaise makes this an instant crowd-pleaser.



Golden Roll


It’s not recommended to fill up before you get to the barbecue at a yakiniku place, but you might just make an exception for the Golden Roll (P250). These mango-topped maki are huge—it’ll be a challenge to get an entire roll in one mouthful. But they’re not just all about size; they pack lots of contrasting flavors and textures, too, from the stuffing of fruity mango and crunchy fried prawn.


Because they share space with Shabu-Shabu Ichiban, we had to ask: Could we have a hotpot and barbecue at the same time? For now you can’t, but watch for their VIP rooms that will soon open, with each table featuring a hotpot stove and a charcoal grill. We can’t wait for what’s surely going to be the ultimate Japanese feast.


Photos by Vincent Coscolluela


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