(SPOT.ph) Yakiniku or Japanese barbecue may not get the same amount of love as its Korean counterpart, but trust us when we say that yakiniku can be just as great, just as tasty, and just as affordable as samgyupsal. Here’s a quick list of 10 places in Metro Manila where you can get your Japanese-barbecue fix, whether you’re a longtime grilled-meat aficionado or just someone looking to try something new.
Ichika Japanese Grill
Whether it’s the most affordable cut on the menu (such as the Beef Galbi or Pork Galbi) or the most premium (the Jo Kalbi or special U.S. rib), Ichika in Kapitolyo elevates their meat through their seemingly endless choices of sauces. There are more than 10 to choose from here, whether it’s the classic light and savory Yakitori, the salty-soy Shoyu, the citrusy Ponzu, the sweet and tangy Teriyaki Mayo, or the classic Herb Salt and Sesame Oil combo. You can even choose to mix and match sauces, although they can all stand on their own.
Ichika Japanese Grill is at Pioneer Center, 8006 Pioneer Street, Pasig City.
Sandaya Yakiniku may offer a more limited menu than their counterparts, but what they lack in quantity, it more than make up for in quality. They offer premium cuts of meat like the Kobe Sirloin, which has a high degree of marbling. If you’re on a budget, consider ordering Sandaya Yakiniku’s special lunch set, which comes with both beef and pork cuts, as well as six vegetable side dishes, all for P350.
See a list of Sandaya Yakiniku branches.
Mitasu Charcoal Grill
If you don’t mind splurging, head to Mitasu Yakiniku, which prides itself on only using high-quality cuts of pork and beef. Their Premium Assorted BBQ Set, for example, features two different kinds of Wagyu. Mitasu also only uses charcoal grills, giving the pork and beef a smoky flavor that pairs well with their simple yakiniku dipping sauce.
Mitasu Charcoal Grill is at 780 Banawe Street, Quezon City.
This popular chain from Chiba, Japan makes sure to fly in their Wagyu beef from Japan so you know you're getting high-quality protein for your grill. They also offer kurobuta pork, which is known for being extremely juicy even after being cooked for a long time. Tajimaya allows guests to customize their experience, not only by letting them grill their own meat, but by letting them make their own yakiniku dipping sauce, with a wide array of ingredients like garlic, bean sauce, and chili paste to choose from.
Tajimaya is at G/F One Rockwell West Tower, Rockwell Center, Makati City.
Having been around for years, Yakiniku Sakura’s interiors are a little bit more dated than other Japanese restaurants, but this restaurant still manages to deliver top-notch barbecue. Try their signature Sakura Original Karubi or boneless short rib, which manages to stay extra tender even if it’s been on the grill for a while.
Yakiniku Sakura is at Doña Concepcion Building, 1020 Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.
Yokohama Meat Kitchen
Barbecued intestines and tongues may sound like they belong more in a street food cart than in a yakiniku restaurant, but Yokohama Meat Kitchen is out to prove that these cuts of meat can be delicious, even to the pickiest of eaters. Their Wagyu-Tokujo Harami or Wagyu beef diaphragm looks and tastes just like any regular piece of beef, but it’s even more tender. Meanwhile, isaw lovers may find themselves gravitating towards the Yawaraka Horumon, or soft pork intestines. Leave them on the grill for a while and they’ll come out perfectly charred and crispy.
Yokohama Meat Kitchen is at 16 Jupiter corner Antares Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.
Sigsaga Yakiniku Buffet
Travelling all the way to Las Piñas for your yakiniku fix seems a little bit excessive, but if you’re spending P299 per person on unlimited barbecue, you’ll want to make the trip every weekend. Sigsaga Yakiniku Buffet’s cheapest offering allows you to partake in unlimited amounts of beef, chicken, and pork as well as over a dozen side-dishes. Pitch in a little more and you can treat yourself to unlimited seafood like shrimp, squid, and even salmon.
Sigsaga Yakiniku Buffet is at 31 Lalaine Bennett Street, BF Resort Village, Talon, Las Piñas City.
With more than 800 branches in Japan, this yakiniku-restaurant chain is not only known for using prime cuts of beef, but for also keeping these at an affordable price point. Diners can choose from different kinds of Wagyu beef, like Wagyu Ribeye, Wagyu Sirloin, and for the more adventurous, Wagyu Tongue. Your order is then served with your choice of marinade. If you’re hoping to get a taste of everything, consider ordering the Warai Set, which comes with two kinds of Wagyu beef, chicken, lamb, and seafood.
Gyu-Kaku is at Level 2, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
Kazoku Japanese Restaurant
This former Maginhawa hotspot has found a new home near Mother Ignacia, but it still serves up your favorite Japanese dishes like ramen, tonkatsu, and tempura. They also offer unlimited yakiniku for under P500. That promo allows diners to partake in not only unlimited cuts of beef, chicken, and pork, but even shrimp. Add P188 for unlimited beer and you have the perfect spot for a Saturday night out with friends.
Kazoku Japanese Restaurant is at 2/F The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.
Even with more than a dozen kinds of meat to choose from, this Japanese-Korean restaurant doesn’t skimp on quality. Each cut of meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, whether you go for their affordable all-you-can-eat promo or their more indulgent Royale Hida Wagyu set. There are also nearly 20 side dishes to take your pick from. Aside from classics like Cheese and Kimchi, customers can also opt for the Buttered Kimchi Rice; it’s classic comfort food with just a bit of a spicy kick.
Yoshimeatsu is at 258-D Tomas Morato Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.