If I have to pick what is the particular restaurant that I have been visiting SO OFTEN this year, it is definitely this place called Yakinikuya, which is located at the basement level of The Darmawangsa Square. In the last 2 months, I have dragged Mr. K, my family, colleagues, and friends to this place for more than 10 times, only for the sake of their All You Can Eat Tokyo-style BBQ. Now if you prefer a la carte for the yakiniku dining, worry not because it’s also available.
The Darmawangsa Square is a familiar shopping mall for me, because I have always visited it since the very beginning. Beside hair salon and beauty center, I love the simplicity of the place and of course, the private cinema called Subtitle located at the basement. Used to go there a lot during my college days, and although I don’t go there as often as before, I am always happy whenever I see the place opens and runs just well.
Yakinikuya occupies a really small place beside the elevator, and just opposite to Subtitle. I think the seating capacity is probably less than 40 in total. After my second visit, I just realized that it is under the management of Eli Group, who also manages Takemori, another Japanese restaurant in the same building. We used to go to Takemori in Senayan City few times because we simply loved the yakiniku, but it was closed down few years ago.
Like I said before, they serve a la carte as well as All You Can Eat menu, we suggest going for AYCE if you’re big eater. Prices are very affordable but they’re different according to the type of sets and time (lunch/dinner).
The AYCE prices start from IDR 168,000++/person to IDR 268,000++/person.
Included in the AYCE sets, we can also order side dishes from kimchi, vegetable platter (and wraps), ishiyaki bibimbap (Korean hot stone rice), Korean soups, even Korean noodle like japchae.
Sweet version of kimchi, but don’t know why I am so hooked by it! The crunchiness is awesome.
The sides are mostly Korean-style dishes, but I am not complaining. The salad had fresh veggies dressed with mild dressing sauce, very refreshing. On top of it is the almost-crispy gyutan (beef tongue) sliced moderately, giving a contrast touch in the appearance as well as the flavor.
Korean vegetable pancakes, made too thick and flour-y. Prefer thinner ones with more fillings.
Love, love, love the soups. Tried both Gyutan and Tofu Chige which are included in my AYCE set, and love them both. The soup is hot and spicy, with bold flavor and peppery.
Need to put this up because their rice is very good! Mr. K is not a big rice eater, but his record here? 4 bowls, everyone!
The vegetable platter, I am crazy about the carrot sticks, so sweet and yummy! The lettuce wraps are way smaller than we usually get in Korean BBQ restaurants but well, we don’t use it when eating Japanese way.
Enough about side dishes, let’s move on to the main point, shall we?!
First of all, they use charcoals for the gas grill. From time to time, they will check whether the charcoal is enough and they will offer to refill the charcoal if your dining session is long. *ahem* What I love about their grill is that, like typical Japanese yakiniku restaurants, they are completed with the smoke vacuum around the grill itself, so we don’t have to worry about escaping smoke that usually makes our hair and clothes smelly!
For the beef, we can choose many, including Wagyu Rosu, Rosu, Harami, Nakaochi, Loin Steak, Jou Negitan and many others; and there are also other meats like Chicken, Dory Fish, Chicken Wings, and Yakishabu. Each meat sets have been marinated with certain sauces, and although dipping sauces are provided, the meat are actually already tasty even without additional sauce.
Before my first visit here, I heard so many times that people always praise this Yakishabu as the MUST TRY item whenever you come to Yakinikuya. The yakishabu surely looks great with red and white stripes but seriously it looks fatty. The marinating sauce is somehow different from other meats because I find this a little sweeter. The sweetness really goes well with the super soft meat and makes it easy to enjoy.
Beside all those meats, their newest addition to the AYCE menu includes Negi Roll (from my visit yesterday), which is actually spring onions sticks rolled with yakishabu. I tried it but didn’t really like it because it is hard to grill (usually the outer layer will be cooked first and the inner side remains uncooked) and I choose to stick with the yakishabu instead.
The dessert included in the AYCE was usually pudding, chocolate ones with dinosaurs shapes and served with condensed milk. But last time I visited (3 December 2015), the menu has changed and now they serve Ice Cream (Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla) for the AYCE dessert.
You know, I love yakiniku but it’s not something that I will eat like every week. Surprisingly, since I knew Yakinikuya, I always think about it and without me knowing, I always end up there again and again. They don’t serve the best meat in town or whatever, but I always think that their ingredients are quite consistent, in term of quality and marinating flavors. I only wish that they will do something about the malfunctioning air conditioners. Come on, the restaurant is very small and there are 4 air-cons installed, and the place feels like a sauna every time we go there.
Nevertheless, we wish Yakinikuya a good future ahead and here’s for more of our uncountable visits in the future!
*All prices are subject to 7% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
The Darmawangsa Square Basement 46
Jl. Darmawangsa 6
South Jakarta 12160
Ph. +62 21 727 88372
Mon – Sun
Lunch 11AM – 3PM
Dinner 6PM – 10PM