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Travelling may feel like a distant memory by now, but diners can still get an authentic taste of Japan with Central’s newest grilled meat restaurant, Yakiniku Ishidaya.
The first overseas venture by Kobe Ishidaya Co Ltd, the restaurant features premium Wagyu from Hyogo Prefecture, stamped with the coveted purple chrysanthemum mark for superior quality. The founder, Kiyonori Ishida, hand-picks the various cuts of beef for both the Hong Kong and Japan branches, with the beautifully marbled cuts displayed proudly at each shopfront. More than 15 cuts of A4 and A5 Wagyu are on offer alongside premium selections of pork, chicken and seafood.
Walking into the intimate restaurant awash in black and charcoal tones felt like we were entering some sort of zen-like retreat, but it was really a sojourn for delicious Wagyu.
Our tasting started with the Ishidaya salad ($98), a hefty bowl of crisp greens dressed with onion, ponzu and fried shallot to combat our meat-centric feast. The roasted thin-sliced Wagyu ($158) was dotted with pungent truffle oil and pink peppercorn. Although delicious, we felt the strong aroma of truffle overwhelmed the flavour of the high-quality meat.
The snowflake marbling on the A5 Kobe Ribeye ($688) made for mouth-watering bites. We were pleasantly surprised that a grill master was on-site to assist in grilling each slice to perfection.
A truly premium cut, the A5 Wagyu chateaubriand ($488/120g) was like biting into a buttery, meaty marshmallow – the meat was so tender it melted in the mouth. Three types of accompaniments – wasabi, Ishidaya special sauce and a sweeter soy dipping sauce – are offered alongside the meats. Our favourite for the chateaubriand was the wasabi, with sharpness helping to cut through the richness of the meat.
Almost like a palate cleanser, the Wagyu cold noodles ($138) offer refreshing, chewy noodles in a delicate, sweet soup.
The premium omakase platter ($388) presents three cuts of beef, including chuck roll, lean meat and karubi. These cuts were by far the strongest flavoured of the meat selection we sampled, as they’d been previously marinated in order to heighten their flavours. Our favourite was the lean meat, which was surprisingly tender. The karubi had a chewy texture, which allowed us to enjoy the flavour of the meat more.
Yakiniku Ishidaya lets diners indulge in a meaty feast that is comparatively easier on the wallet than many other yakiniku restaurants of the same calibre. The quality of the beef is superb, and we were impressed by the staff’s attentive service. There’s also a good selection of lunch sets to appease your meaty cravings at a reasonable price.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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