Yakiniku Like – Barbecue Solo Without Being Judged!
Yakiniku Like is a solo-dining themed Japanese BBQ restaurant, which skyrocketed in popularity in Japan. With 30 outlets all over Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia, they’ve opened their 31st outlet here in Singapore!
Having only eaten barbecue in big groups, I was stoked to experience this lone-diner concept that could potentially suit my introverted personality, as well as satisfy my sudden cravings for Japanese barbecue.
When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted with a cheerful chorus of “irasshaimasei!” from the staff. As we arrived just as the store opened, we had the luxury of dining at a table. I quickly checked out the solo booths in the middle of the restaurant, which received an approving nod from me. While you can see where each individual booth start and end, they were not shuttered up, so it makes the space less constricted and had a more casual feel.
To ensure as little human interaction as possible, they’ve made their ordering system accessible through a QR code that will be given to you when you’re seated. The process is simple enough such that anyone can do it!
The whole menu looked so enticing that we had trouble deciding what we wanted. Prices start from $8.80 for the set meals, which come with meat, rice, soup, and a choice of kimchi or salad. In the end, we got the Trio set ($11.80 for 150g | $16.80 for 300g)— exclusive to Singapore. The trio consists of Beef Short Plate, Pork Jowl, and Chicken Thigh.
The grills in Yakiniku Like are smokeless and odourless. How this works is a special suction that sucks in the smoke from below the grill. As someone who hates the smell of smoke stuck on her, I appreciated this a lot.
The beef short plate only needed a few minutes of grilling on each side. The thin cut was so tender. The juices oozing out of the meat was so flavourful. You can enjoy this even without dipping it in any of the condiments.
The pork jowl came with so much marbling that it made my mouth water even before I ate it. The only resistance the meat gave was a little crunch from the fat, and then it broke apart easily. It had a very light pork flavour for something so fatty. So. Good.
The chicken thigh was good, but it’s nothing to shout about as it is such a common ingredient.
Now, for the star of the day, the item labelled with “Ultimate Indulgence!!” on the menu— the Wagyu Steak set ($19.80 for 120g | $29.80 for 200g) It is said to have a marbling score of seven to eight, a score which rivals an A4 Wagyu. You don’t see such affordable prices for wagyu that often these days.
Each piece was succulent, juicy, and filled with a rich beef flavour. Unfortunately, the marbling didn’t do the meat any favours at all. I expected it to melt in my mouth, but it didn’t.
As mentioned earlier, you have a choice of kimchi or choregi salad. I would opt for the kimchi as the tanginess helps to cut through the richness of the meat. The choregi salad was basically tasteless.
Yakiniku Like offers eight different condiments, four of which are different sauces. Our favourite was the garlic soy sauce, which was by far the tastiest of all the sauces. The spicy miso sauce comes a close second. The other two tasted very light, almost like they weren’t even present. I suggest dipping your beef in actual salt instead of the sea salt sauce.
I’m glad that I got to the restaurant early, as a long queue had formed by the time we left.
The food here at Yakiniku Like is supposed to arrive within 3 minutes of ordering. While I didn’t think they fulfilled that promise, it was a speedy service nonetheless. I definitely waited less than 10 minutes. It’s safe to say that Yakiniku Like is indeed Tasty! Quick! Value!
Address: 10 Paya Lebar Road, #B1-28, Paya Lebar Quarter, Singapore 409057
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm daily. Last order at 9.30pm.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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