With its exclusive menu and flavourful beef, Gyu Bar has proven that it deserves a spot among the top yakiniku restaurants in Singapore
It’s no secret, Singaporeans love Japanese restaurants. Omakase, sushi, kushikatsu and even random ramen? Been there, done that. But yakiniku? (That’s grilled meat, in case you were wondering), we have a new player in town that’s got us intrigued. When yakiniku restaurant Gyu Bar popped up between the Novotel and Mercure hotel along Stevens Road, we had to drop by. Here’s the verdict:
Gyu Bar clearly understands that first impressions count. A minimalist setting combines with old-world elegance to turn this 1300 sq ft restaurant into a cozy enclave. Tucked away in the corner of the restaurant lies an eclectic mix of 100 sake cups, adorned with different patterns and in myriad shapes and sizes. Here’s a nice touch: you can choose from the collection for our complimentary welcome cup of sake.
Unlike many other yakiniku restaurants that serve meat from several cow breeds, Gyu Bar focuses all its energy into one – the Kumamoto Kuroge breed, a pure-blood black Wagyu. Don’t mistake the lack of choice for being unambitious though, Tomoo Kimura of Sushi Kimura and his two co-founders spent nearly a year researching before landing on this breed.
Hats off to this trio, this exclusivity definitely showed in their dishes and the freshness of the cuts was obvious. For instance, the A4 Wagyu tartare with onsen egg and spring onions was entirely refreshing and the signature roast beef don simply sublime. Gyu Bar is also one of the few establishments that purchase the entire cow, so if you go for the epic omakase platter (300 grams), you can sample rare cuts such as chateaubriand and tomo sankaku, in addition to standard karubi, zabuton and ribeye.
If we had to pick the star of the show, it would be the sirloin with sukiyaki and egg dip. The silky orange egg yolk contained hints of truffle, which when combined with the tender slice of meat, transports you to a dimension of pure, excruciatingly temporary ecstacy. Finish off the remaining sukiyaki orange-yellow goodness by adding rice to prolong your happiness. Have space for dessert after the beef marathon? Have a go at the yuzu or matcha ice cream, a perfect ending to such a rich meal.
Unlike many yakiniku restaurants where you come out smelling like you spent the day in the kitchen, Gyu Bar’s solid ventilation system (the smoke goes downwards) ensures that you can go back to an afternoon meeting and your colleagues will never suspect that you had just come from a world-class yakiniku meal.
Verdict: Gyu Bar found the right balance between exclusivity and being unpretentious, which along with their divine range of dishes, makes for a perfect yakiniku spot.
Gyu Bar, 30 Stevens Road #01-08 Entrance located outside of Mercure Hotel, Singapore 257840
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