While travelling to Japan may not be in the cards for now, Singaporeans can still enjoy a piece of Japan with affordable Yakiniku restaurants opening up at various places – from within malls to kopitiams.
Yakiniku may always be seen as an expensive dining affair, but there are more casual, ‘fast-food’ style outlets which promises a quick and without-smelling-like-smoke dining experience.
10 Paya Lebar Rd #B1-28 Paya Lebar Quarter Singapore 409057
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Last Order 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
This is a “fast-food style” yakiniku restaurant that offers individual and smokeless grills, so you can enjoy this novel dining experience in comfort. If you come in a group, there are also shared grills available for two diners to use.
Meat choices include wagyu beef, karubi (beef short plate), harami (beef skirt steak), prime karubi (boneless short rib) to misuji (top blade).
Don’t worry if you do not enjoy beef. Pork belly, pork jowl and chicken thigh are served here as well. The Pork and Chicken Set is priced affordably at $7.80 for 100g ($11.80 for 200g) for a set with pork belly and chicken thigh.
One thing you would notice would be the inexpensive pricing. Prices start from $7.80 Nett for a set inclusive of meat, rice, soup and a choice of kimchi or salad. (No additional GST or service charge).
For beef lovers, the value-for-money set to get is the Karubi Set with beef short plate priced at $8.80 Nett for 100g ($12.80 for 200g, $16.80 for 300g).
The Singapore-exclusive Trio Set ($11.80 for 150g, $16.80 for 300g) includes beef short plate, pork jowl, and chicken thigh.
Read more at: Yakiniku Like (Paya Lebar Quarter)
23 Serangoon Central, NEX #B1-78, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The pork-free restaurant provides all the amenities of a yakiniku restaurant with full-sized tables (like having a ‘private yakiniku desk’) in a cosy environment.
For those of you worried about smelling like a BBQ after the meal, the electric grills produce no smoke and so there is none of that lingering smell.
One of the most popular sets is the signature Yakiniku-GO Set (from $16.80) which boasts three popular cuts of beef: Short Plate, Angus Ribeye Steak and Beef Tongue, as well as rice, soup, kimchi or salad.
A new addition is the Value Treat (from $14.80) with Beef Short Plate, Beef Rib Finger (Nakaochi Karubi) and Chicken.
The Nakaochi Karubi is taken from in-between individual ribs, which boosts of a cut with meaty and chewy texture and robust beefy flavours.
Read more at: Yakiniku-GO (The Seletar Mall)
Bazuka Yakiniku Japanese BBQ
3 Gateway Drive, Westgate #04-07, Singapore 608532
Tel: +65 6802 7234
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun), Last order 9pm
If you are looking for inexpensive Japanese BBQ, quality and affordability collide at Bazuka Yakiniku Japanese BBQ – a new Japanese restaurant at Westgate.
Served daily from 11am to 9:30pm, Bazuka’s Combo Sets range from $7.90 for a Pork Belly Set, $8.80 for a Pork and Chicken Set, to $16.80 for Sirloin Steak Set. Very affordable.
They offer more than 10 set meals so you should find the best one for your degree of craving. Each set comes complete with a bowl of Japanese rice, soup, kimchi or salad.
Get a complete value-for-money meal with the Karubi Set ($9.80 for 120g), which comes with a plate of boneless short rib, premium Japanese rice, miso soup and salad/kimchi.
The beef’s marbling makes it a yakiniku staple – you only need a few seconds to grill it.
The result are tender and juicy slices ready to pop into your mouth. Want more? Upgrade to the 180g platter ($13.80) and get more.
Read more at: Bazuka Yakiniku Japanese BBQ (Westgate)
Bugis Junction #01-92/96, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Hey! Yakiniku is another casual Yakiniku restaurant good for individual and small-group dining, and conveniently located at Bugis Junction.
The most popular is the Karubi or Beef Short Plate Set, priced from $9.90 for 100g. Other recommended are the Hey! Set ($16.90 for 150g) with beef tongue, short plate and skirt steak; and Duo Prime ($17.90 for 100g) with boneless short rib and beef short plate.
This is also one of the yakiniku restaurants that also offer Donburi in varieties of Teriyaki Chicken ($11.90), Gyu Tan Don ($20.90), Yakiniku Don ($14.90) and Butabar Don ($16.90).
5 Wallich Street, #01-13, Guoco Tower, Singapore 078883
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm (Sun – Thurs, PH), 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 1am (Fri, Sat, Eve of PH)
This all-you-can-eat Japanese yakiniku specialist is known to provide the most premium Japanese A5 Wagyu beef from Miyagi Prefecture, and that includes Brisket, Chuck, Round, Knuckle and more.
The 120 minutes Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef buffet is available from $70++ to $80++ per adult and $45 per child onwards (depending on timing), which allows diner to savour the mesh-like marbling and rich meaty flavour in the Sendai Wagyu beef.
If you want something more affordable, there is a 90 minutes Yakiniku Ala Carte Lunch Buffet ($22.50++ per person, $8 surcharge on Fri, Sat, Eve of PH) available lunchtime from 11:30am to 3pm for a limited period.
This lunchtime buffet includes free-flow servings of pork, chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetables. Do check with restaurant when the lunch buffet will end its run.
Japanese BBQ Tora
321 Alexandra Road, #01-01 Alexandra Central Mall, Singapore 159971
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Japanese BBQ Tora (which means “tiger” in Japanese) did seem rather promising for its price-point and offerings.
The most affordable Buta Karubi Chicken Set with pork belly and chicken starts from $7.90 for 100g, with NO service charge and FREE parking (for now).
The other items were also considered inexpensive, with Karubi Beef Short Plate at $8.90 (100g), Karubi Loin Set with beef short plate and loin at $13.90 (100g), and Pork Belly at $8.90 (100g).
If you prefer something more ‘premium’, the American Wagyu Steak is priced at $19.90 (150g) and Beef Tongue, Short Ribs and Top Plate Set at $19.90 (150g).
Each set comes with a bowl of rice, choice of salad or kimchi, and miso soup.
There are two accompanying basic sauces, the Tora Original BBQ sauce or Wasabi BBQ sauce, while you can also add pink rock salt or pepper to your meats.
164 Bukit Merah Central, #01-3631, Singapore 150164
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 11pm (Mon – Wed, Fri – Sun), Closed Thurs
Also at: 121 Geylang East Central, Singapore 380121
It is not often that you find a yakiniku stall in a kopitiam, and this is also recommended by the “HDB Tai Tai” (Kym Ng and Chen Liping).
Their sets are named like school results, from Grade A to Grade S (supreme). Popular items are the Premium Karubi Set ($14 for 100g), Karubi Sat ($7 for 100g), and Wagyu Steak Set ($17).
All to be dipped in Garlic Shoyu or Citrus Shoyu sauces.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed their pork best because it was quite tender and juicy.
They appear to have switched their grills though, from something which looks more fast-food Yakiniku style to a more mookata-looking like one.
The Yakiniku Warrior people mentioned that their latest version is used by high end private dining in Japan, and also helps cook the meats faster with less smokiness.
2 Geylang Lorong 29 Yinchuan Building, Singapore 388058
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 4:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 9:30pm (Sat – Sun)
While the Keisuke brand has always been known for its ramen, this is a concept that departs from their usual styles – a yakiniku kopitiam stall located at Geylang.
They used to sell only chicken parts, but have expanded to include beef and pork.
For more indulgence, there is the Deluxe Assorted Yakiniku ($45 for 430g) which includes a variety of components from Kampung Chicken, Chicken Meat Ball, Pork Loin, Pork Calvi, Pork Jowl, Beef Harami (Outside Skirt), Bone in Calvi (Short Rib), Beef Tongue, Beef Calvi (Short Plate), to Assorted Vegetables & Assorted Mushroom.
For something more affordable, there is the Chicken Yakiniku Set Meal ($9.90) with Kampung Chicken Thigh, Chcken Calvi, and Chicken Meat Ball.
Each Yakiniku order comes with free marinated beansprouts and half-boiled egg.
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