Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sakae Yakiniku @ Eastwood

It was one of those indecisive days when our bellies wanted to nom on everything in the world. The rain was drizzling outside, and we were passing through Eastwood when we suddenly came up with 4 new places. After a few sets of Rock-Paper-Scissors, we were off to Sakae Yakiniku!

This Sakae is part of the Sakae franchise, with the other restaurants being at the city and Eastwood just around the corner from this one. However, this Sakae is completely different with different menus and a different environment. Yaki meaning to cook and niku meaning meat, this place is more like a Korean BBQ than a Japanese restaurant. They do offer the usual Japanese dishes such as sashimi, sushi, udon, etc but they're most famous for their meal deals.

They give you three sets of menus, one normal, one buffet and one meal deal. We chose the $29.90 dinner meal deal which offers four different dishes for each person. A - entrees, B - meat, C - hot food, D - dessert. We chose one ABCD and one ABBD for a bit of variety.

They also give you quite a lot of appetizers. Kimchi, thin onion slices in a sweet soy sauce based sauce, and salad in an apple/kiwi based sauce. The onions are refreshing with the meat but about the salad, the sauce is a bit odd and doesn't really suit my tastebuds.

One of the appetizers. Soft tofu in katsuobushi brewed sauce. Katsuobushi is dried fish, used by Japanese to enhance the flavours in their cooking. The brew in particular is used widely as a stock.

Agedashi tofu, my choice. 6 huge pieces of tofu. The tofu itself is very soft and jiggly but the coating was quite tough, making me doubt whether it was freshly made or not. The agedashi sauce is quite nice and the flavour isn't disappointing at all.

Beef tataki, his choice. I found this a bit too thick and tough for my liking but the Man loved it. The sauce itself was full of flavour with a hint of garlic.

We got the Wagyu rib fingers, Wagyu rib skirts, and the galbi, a long strip of meat with a piece of rib at the end. Our verdict - Wagyu rib skirts! This one was so succulent and tender when cooked medium rare. The juice literally squirts out with each bite and if you like the taste of your meat, have it with a bit of sea salt & pepper to really bring out the ultimate wagyu experience. If you overcook it, it's very tough, even if it is wagyu. The portion sizes are quite small but by the end of the meal, we were both quite full.

The unagi don. I love unagi (eel) but this one, like their other dishes, was amazingly tough and was hard to bite off even with my teeth. It does feel a bit old as fresh unagi should fall apart easily with your chopsticks and the glaze should drizzle down in a thick honey-like goo as you pick a slice up.

Green tea ice cream. I don't know if it was all the fatty wagyu but this ice cream was so good and cleansing! I'm surprised every time green tea something really tastes like green tea because they seldom do. It was light and airy but creamy enough to satisfy. Even the sample sized amount is enough after our big meal.

If you want a non-fuss meal, then I say go for it. Don't count too much on the hot food but it's still good enough to make me happy.

Sakae Yakiniku House on Urbanspoon

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