Posts tagged yakiniku

I saw the angel in the marble: Rengaya, North Sydney

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

I think I finally understand what Michelangelo meant. I mean, I was never really good at Art History, but when faced with such beauty, I think there’s no way I can miss what he meant.

Because surely, he was talking about the marble in a 9+ piece of wagyu beef right?

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Beef Sashimi, $18.90Premium Wagyu Beef Sashimi, $18.90

Wagyu literally translates to “Japanese cow”, and refers to a breed of cow that naturally produces meat with an amazing amount of marbling. And you know what this fat does? It gives you a super tender, deliciously melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat.

And I am TOTALLY addicted.

Rengaya, in North Sydney, has a wide selection of wagyu beef available for their Japanese tabletop BBQ, and we were totally spoilt when we got invited there for dinner!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Salmon Belly Sashimi, $17.90Salmon Belly Sashimi, $17.90

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Duck with BBQ Sauce, $24.90Duck with BBQ Sauce, $24.90

Of course, wagyu wasn’t the only thing on the menu: Japanese restaurant staples like salmon sashimi and salads were also options for us to choose. The BBQ menu also had items like duck and – the all important litmus test for how they treat and store meat – offal.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Assorted Ambles, $19.90Assorted Ambles, $19.90

Curiously labelled Assorted Ambles, the the offal in this case was a selection of intestine, tongue, liver and kidney. Marinading provided two functions – to flavour the meat and to help it last longer in storage. The result, is a series of mouthfuls that are deliciously savoury, and a perfect match to fluffy Japanese rice.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90

But the main event is always the wagyu, and there is a platter with an assortment of cuts to suit our needs. Because I don’t discriminate when it comes to meat. =)

Bright red wagyu so fresh you can eat it thinly sliced as sashimi – seriously, you should try it sometime. It’s so delicate! – These mouthfuls of meat pair especially well with the smoke off the hot coals.

Speaking of mouthfuls, it’s a very good idea to order the salad leaves with accompanying sauces, so that you can wrap up the meat, Korean BBQ style. Because…salad. And also because it’s freaking delicious. Don’t say I don’t tell you about the good stuff!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: BBQ Squid, $13.90BBQ Squid, $13.90

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Foil Yaki Garlic, $8.90Foil Yaki Garlic, $8.90

And if you’re afraid of getting attacked by vampires on the way home – or, you know, you just really like garlic – the Foil Yaki Garlic is an insanely good excuse for anti-vampire breath. Peeled garlic is basically cooked over the barbecue in melted butter, and the rich smokey flavour puts a satisfying end to any True Blood fantasies you might have ever had. Or will ever have.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Yukke Bibimba, $19.90Yukke Bibimba, $19.90

Not keen on barbecue? (What’s WRONG WITH YOU) Then there are also a la carte selections like the Yukke Bibimba, which, like the Korean Yukke, features amazingly fresh raw beef on a hot stone bowl of rice and vegetables. The Oxtail porridge was also rice and full of flavour, if not a touch heavy on the chilli oil.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Wa Dessert PlatterWa Dessert Platter

And just when we thought that we couldn’t eat anymore, dessert. Because…do I really need to justify why I’m such a fatty anymore? You read the blog right? In the haze of my resulting food coma, I remembered being pleasantly surprised by the creamy matcha creme brûlée – breaking open that caramel top always makes my day – and not much else.

This is definitely one of those places that you’d want to go with a group – otherwise be prepared to be so stuffed cause you’ll just want to order EVERYTHING – and if you’ve got your Washoku Lovers card on you, you can also get a portion of Premium Beef Rib (2pc) & Premium Beef Loin (2pc) for $20 ($35 RRP). Win-win, right?

Also, great way to test potential dates. If they are still interested after the Foil Yaki Garlic, they’re a keeper. =)

Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Suminoya and Oiden! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Rengaya and Washoku Lovers.
73 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9929 6169

Click to add a blog post for Rengaya on Zomato

Smoking without smoke? Suminoya, Sydney CBD

Review of Suminoya, Sydney CBD

I love barbecue in all its forms. American, Brazillian, Chinese…and that’s just the beginning of the alphabet! But I hate actually being outside, so the solution? Tabletop barbecue – like the Korean varieties with the amazing array of side dishes- where the food comes to you.

Now there IS just one very fundamental flaw in an otherwise delicious plan: at the end of dinner, you smell like you’ve been barbecued, yourself. All that delicious smoke lingers and clings, and gets every where. It’s worse than glitter.

Enter the Japanese solution (and there’s ALWAYS a Japanese solution): smokeless charcoal.

Review of Suminoya Japanese BBQ, Sydney CBD

Sumi in Japanese, refers to all charcoal, and binchotan is a white charcoal that is sold as “smokeless”. Which, is not entirely accurate, since the fat dripping off the pieces of meat still create flareups and smoke, but by itself, the light grey pieces of glowing charcoal really doesn’t seem to emit any visible trails of smoke that lovers of tabletop barbecue, like myself, are so used to seeing. So magical!

So then, what does Suminoya mean? Well, quite literally translated: barbecue house.

Review of Suminoya, Sydney: Barbecue selectionBarbecue Selection

Of course, we can’t be in a barbecue house without food to barbecue, and Suminoya is very conveniently offering set options that allow you to choose 2 or 3 options for lunch, with rice, miso soup, and a side salad. We chose the duck, prawn, beef ribs and skirt steak, for two people.

But wait, you might be wondering why there was a magical fourth option. Well, as part of the Washoku Lovers membership programme – did I ever mention that I’ve got loyalty cards coming out of my ears? – you get an extra option thrown in for your lunch order, for the same price! And like anyone else, I love me some freebies.

Anyhoo, the meat was deliciously tender and very lightly seasoned, which was quite surprising considering skirt steak and beef ribs aren’t known for being tender cuts of meat. There was a certain delicateness about it all, and I’m not sure how I feel about it all. The food, though cooked over charcoal, was only lightly smoky, which kind of defeats the purpose of barbecue, to an extent. The smoke really is what separates this dining option from well, having my meal cooked for me in a pan by the cook, and the lack of a more butt-kicking smoke flavour makes me wonder whether there is really more effort than reward.

Mind you, it’s still a very nice Japanese barbecue. Just a little light on the smoke scale.

Review of Suminoya, Sydney: Entree Sashimi PlatterMixed Sashimi (Entree)

We also ordered the sashimi entree, because uh, I love fish. No two ways around it. The fish was fresh and well handled – what you’d expect from a decent plate of sashimi.

This little barbecue house – hidden down Hoskings Place – actually packs quite a crowd, and all my concerns about smoke aside, still allowed me to walk out with a heavy coat without smelling like a barbecue myself, and for that, I am grateful.

Now I hear that they also do an all-you-can-eat…

Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Izakaya Yebisu! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Washoku Lovers and Suminoya.
1 Hosking Place
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9231 2177

Click to add a blog post for Suminoya Japanese on Zomato

Having a Cow: Gyuzou Japanese Barbecue, Sydney

Aerial shot of the barbecue filled with wagyu beef pieces and vegetables

If I had to be reborn as an animal for food, I’d definitely choose to be a Wagyu cow. A morbid thought? Maybe. But these cows have got it gooood.

This is would be a life where being fat is a good thing, and you spend your living days eating, drinking booze and getting massaged! What’s not to love about that?

Well, there’s that bit about being eaten. But wagyu beef gets treated with such reverence that I’m sure it’ll make it worthwhile.

So it makes sense that Japanese yakiniku – aka Japanese barbecue – features little to no marinade or seasoning, to showcase the raw flavour of the beef. And at Gyuzou in Sydney, the cow is built right into the name, so I was over the moo-n to be invited to sample their menu!

100%Assorted Wagyu Platter, $25.50

It seemed to make sense to start with the Wagyu Platter, $25.50. You get a variety of cuts, including my favourite part of the beef, the short rib. Yes yes you get more fat in the prime cuts of meat, but really, the short rib is where you can taste all the amazing beefy flavour, and with just a bit more cooking, a deliciously firm but tender texture.

Large Intestine, $6.50Large Intestine, $6.50

And I ordered the Large Intestine, $6.50, because I’m Asian. And also because you can really tell how a restaurant treats their meat in their treatment of their offal. Offal needs NEEDS to be fresh, and cleaned properly or it will smell to high heaven the moment it hits the heat.

This, thankfully, was one delicious plate. Lightly fatty – so decadent! – and with just the the tiniest amount of bite, these pieces didn’t even need to be marinated, in my opinion.

Pro tip: Cook it low and slow on the edges of the barbecue, and give it time to render out some of the fat, causing the all-important flare ups that will give you that classic barbecue smoky flavour.

Salmon and Kingfish Sashimi, $9.00Salmon and Kingfish Sashimi, $9.00

Of course, you can’t do Japanese food without the other thing that stinks to high heaven if it isn’t fresh – sashimi! At Gyuzou, it definitely is, though I question the decision to serve it over ice. On one hand, it keeps the fish cold because it can get pretty warm while that barbecue is sizzling, but on the other hand, things get a bit watery as the ice melts. And well, you get the wet fish reference right?

Okonomiyaki, $5.50Okonomiyaki, $5.50

Okonomiyaki, $5.50, is basically a Japanese cabbage and beef/seafood pancake covered in mayo (that magically delicious word again!) and a brown Japanese barbecue sauce. Personally I like okonomiyaki a little firmer, but it was still the flavours you’d expect, so it was okay.

Wagyu Tataki, $8.90Wagyu Tataki, $8.90

So back to the beef we go. The Wagyu Tataki, $8.90, very simply features thin slices of seared rare beef laid over thin slices of red onion, with a light soy based sauce on the side. Good, but not great, especially next to the stellar barbecue.

Green Tea Parfait, $7.90Green Tea Parfait, $7.90

And just to round things out on a sweet note, the Green Tea Parfait, $7.90. It may look simple, but it’s got a circus of sponge cake, green tea jelly, whipped cream, matcha ice cream, and chocolate wafer cigars. A good way to finish, though part of me wonders if I should have ordered more beef and intestine.

It was a very pretty setting, and a great experience for date nights. If you are a bit worried about the lack of marinade, let me assure you that the trio of sauces more than make up for it. The yakiniku, shiotare, and tabera rayu, provided enough salt, tang, and umami flavours to change it up with every bite. I particularly enjoyed the tabera rayu, which was like a chilli and garlic mixture that just brought out the Singaporean in me.


Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Gyuzou Japanese BBQ.

Corner Of Day St X Liverpool St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9268 0410

Japanese BBQ Yakiniku GYUZO on Urbanspoon