We brought Y and J to Aburiya on Friday night, a Japanese restaurant serving Sumiyaki – Japanese charcoal grill. A and I had gone to the Holland Village branch a few weeks ago and were pretty blown away by the vast array and amazing quality of the meats on offer, so as usual we wanted to spread the word.
On Friday we went to the Robertson Quay branch, incidentally the restaurant’s first branch - The Holland V one was only opened in July 2005. It was packed, leaving me grateful that I had made a reservation. Here’s a list of what we ordered, before I give my views on some of them:
- wagyu beef prime short rib
- beef tenderloin
- beef karubi short rib
- beef liver
- belly pork
- lamb loin
- shitake mushroom
- foie gras with butter
- fried rice with beef and garlic
(Each cut of meat is marinated in a sauce of your choice, ranging from simple salt and pepper, to miso, to a range of soy sauce-based marinades. It’s probably advisable to get the recommendations of the waitstaff on which marinade works best for which type/cut of meat.)
I guess a comparison of the beefs is in order. I would say that if you’re looking for tenderness, the tenderloin (or fillet) is unsurpassed. It comes in cubes, and we had it with the Tare marinade, which was a soy-based Yakiniku sauce. A few turns of the beef cubes on the hot grill is all it takes. The outside is seared and the inside is still so tender you could probably cut it with your chopsticks. This is definitely A’s favourite. The wagyu beef was seasoned with the Shio marinade, which was simply salt and pepper. The thing about the wagyu is, it’s slightly tough to bite into at first (it definitely doesn’t have the tenderloin’s softness), but once you do, the marbled bits of fat in the meat literally make it melt in your mouth as you chew. However, having said that, the beef karubi, which we also had with the Tare sauce, was pretty similar in both taste and texture to the wagyu, and at almost a third of the price of the wagyu, I’ll definitely order it instead of the wagyu in future.
The lamb loin was another winner. We had it with the GK sauce – soya sauce with a hint of garlic. The meat was tender with just the right amount of fat, and didn’t have any overpowering lamb-y flavour.
By far the most unhealthy orders of the night were the belly pork and the foie gras. We had the belly pork with miso sauce, which was tasty but as it came smothered with the sauce, I think it was somewhat overpowering. Still, the grilled fatty meat was absolutely sinful but oh-so-yummy. The foie gras, which was actually duck liver, came in a cute little foil dish with a cube of butter. You’re meant to put the entire foil dish onto the grill, and cook the liver in the melted butter. Tasted divine, and at $9.90 for 3 slices of foie gras, I thought it was a steal. Of course, seeing the melted butter in the dish wasn’t quite as fun…
The liver and the chicken were ok but pretty ordinary so I won’t say anything more about them. The shitake mushrooms were a welcome respite from the otherwise meat-intensive menu. They were drizzled with teriyaki sauce, and SOME of us decided to add more salt to them while grilling…
This is definitely a place I’ll be frequenting whenever I’m in a particularly carnivorous mood.
I like to eat the meat. Garlic fried rice with beef very nice also. Oi! How come the guests never write anything?
Guest J writing at last.....loved the tenderloin, lamb and foie gras. Agree with C on the pork belly-the sauce was a tad too strong.
Aburiya is a great place for carnivores to break bread with likeminded friends.
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