Yakiniku is the awesome “Korean-style bbq” dining experience that has your carnivore companions drooling at the thought of. Diners sit around a hot-plate and cook slices of meat and vegetables to their own tastes. If you like your meat well-done, beware friends who prefer rarer meat don’t steal it first! You snooze, you lose - guard your meat zealously. ;)
Although far from the first choice of restaurant for herbivores, there are vegetables available too, such as cabbage, bell peppers/capsicum, carrot, shiitake and other mushrooms, onions, eggplant, “moyashi” (bean sprouts), garlic and “kabocha" (pumpkin). Although there are “tabehoudai” (all-you-can-eat) courses available, you can also order the meat per plate. Starting with a ‘set’ is often a good value way to order, if they have one available.
Prices vary considerably depending on the restaurant, with expensive cuts of meat, especially Japanese wagyu like Kobe Beef and Matzuzaka Beef going for a lot more than the meat at budget chains.
Price per person:
¥2000 ~ ¥4000
Here’s an explanation of common types of meats you can order:
- BEEF -
“Rōsu” is loin and chuck slices.
“Karubi” or “Baraniku” comes from the Korean word ‘galbi” and refers to the tender flesh surrounding the short ribs, a delicious, highly-fatty meat.
“Harami” comes from around the diaphragm, characteristic for being tender and moderately fatty.
“Misuji” is tender meat from around the shoulder.
- PORK -
“Butabara” is pork belly.
“Toro” or “Tontoro" is fatty meat around the cheek and the neck.
- HORUMON -
“Horumon” is a Kansai word that literally means “bits you throw away”, but in this case describes ‘offal’ or internal organs. They’re certainly flavorful, but much chewier than many western people are used to.
“Mino” (first stomach or beef tripe) is a yakiniku meat popular for its refreshing taste and resilient texture.
“Hatsu” (heart) is exactly what it sounds like.
“Rebā” is liver whose pungent flavor and aroma people either tend to love or hate.
“Tēru” comes from the English word "tail". It’s slices of beef tail cut crosswise, bone attached.
“Tan” (beef tongue) is often eaten with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top, dipped with salt, or sprinkled with chopped green onion.
“Tecchan” is the small intestine and has a rich, fatty and creamy texture.
“Gatsu” is pork stomach and named after the English word, “guts”.
“Hachinosu” comes from the animal’s second stomach. Imagine that, a back-up stomach. The surface looks like a bee hive, which is what the name literally means. Extremely resilient texture.
“Kobukuro” is pork uterus. Like, wow. I was not aware that was a thing. It’s known for its gristly texture and being the grossest thing ever. :D
- CHICKEN -
Plain, old, delicious chicken.
- SEAFOOD -
“Ika” (squid), “kake” (shellfish), “ebi” (shrimp)
- Where can I eat it? -
Yakiniku restaurants are everywhere, and many big of reasonably-priced chains now have English menus too. You can click the link below to access our restaurant guide to see one that we recommend.