Yakiniku Solo, No Problemo Yakiniku Like Thailand arrives with a few twists

Yakiniku Solo, No Problemo  Yakiniku Like Thailand arrives with a few twists

(Photos: Yakiniku Like Thailand)

Convention dictates that yakiniku is a group activity or at least that's how I've been perceiving it. Enter the first Thai branch Yakiniku Like (fb.com/yakinikulike.th), the first fast-casual yakiniku restaurant from Japan, which arrives with a few twists of its own.

Located on the first floor of CentralPlaza Lardprao, Yakiniku Like lets you enjoy the Japanese-style barbecue solo (hitori yakiniku) or with friends. A bar table in the centre awaits lone eaters (no judging here) and each seat has its own grill. You can rest assured that you won’t smell like grilled meats afterward, thanks to electric smokeless grills, and you can retrieve cutlery and wipes from a drawer in front of your seat.

With a quick scan of a QR code, you can order your meats as a set, which comes with rice, soup and a choice of kimchi or salad, or as à la carte items from your mobile phone. They call this BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. Each set is offered in two or three sizes according to its weight. The main attractions here are a wide selection of beef and pork sourced from the US and Australia. They can be enjoyed with various condiments and four signature sauces namely Original BBQ, Garlic soy, Spicy miso and Sea salt.

Yakiniku Solo, No Problemo  Yakiniku Like Thailand arrives with a few twists
Yakiniku Solo, No Problemo  Yakiniku Like Thailand arrives with a few twists

Speaking of variety, I opted for Like set (B339 for 150g or B399 for 250g), which serves gyutan (beef tongue), karubi (short plate) and harami (skirt steak) on the same tray. It’s a way to go if you would like to appreciate subtle differences between this trio. While all juicy, marbling and tasty, gyutan stood out with its somewhat bouncy texture, which resisted your chew in a palatable way. If you want to indulge — and you should once in a while — go for Wagyu steak set (B499 for 120g or B599 for 180g). It arrived in a full marbling effect with beautiful white flecks of intramuscular fat. Tender, succulent and melted in your melt. Don’t ruin each slice by drenching sauce on it, just go with classic salt and pepper.

If you truly want to try different shades of meats — a cliche pun intended here — you can order them à la carte and they start affordably at B55 for 50g of pork karubi (belly) or 50g of chicken thigh. While you can ask the staff for their recommendation of which sauce should go with what cut, there are no hard and fast rules here. I find Sea salt and Garlic soy have that umami that goes with any meat.

Yakiniku lives up to its “Tasty! Quick! Value!” concept (yelled out in Japanese-style enthusiasm, I assume) only if you’re looking for a casual in-and-out meal over grilled meats. To celebrate its opening, until Dec 9, you can buy a 50g of Beef karubi, Pork karubi or Chicken thigh for the price of B29. The hitch is that it’s limited to one dish per bill only.

Why 29? “Niku” is the Japanese word for meat and “ni” also means two while “ku” means nine. Put them together and you’ll get 29. The more you know.

Yakiniku Solo, No Problemo  Yakiniku Like Thailand arrives with a few twists
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