Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant
Located in Boat Quay along the riverfront, Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal Grill Restaurant has a view of some of Singapore's key landmarks. "Smokeless Grill" are used for their indoor tables to enhance the BBQ experience.
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Premium Japanese Grill At Mid-Range Prices
Easily spotted along Boat Quay because of its distinct Japanese facade with lanterns and wooden-esque doors, the 3 month old Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant is gaining a name for itself by serving premium cuts of meat at mid-range prices. As a Japanese style grill / barbecue place, Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant has divided its 3 levels to serve different needs, with the 1st level being the future buffet area and open concept riverside dining, the 2nd level a quieter private area, and the 3rd level for large group functions.
Ambience at Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant is traditional Japanese, think simple hues of wood and teak, clean profiles and minimalist decor. Seats are Zashiki floor seating style, with a sunken hollow for your legs. Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant has also won praise for its grill, a technological marvel that sucks away any smoke generated during cooking, which means diners leave without nasty smells on their clothing. This also results in a quicker, more even grilling on meats.
Service at Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant is decent. Staff are knowledgable about the items on the menu, and can offer advice depending on your preference. I liked that they come around regularly to check that your drinks are topped up, as well as to clear finished plates. I did think the staff outside could make more of an effort to promote Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant to passerbys though. Decent, unobstrusive, but also unmemorable.
Arashi Yakiniku Charcoal BBQ Restaurant uses white Binchotan Japanese charcoal, which creates high heat quickly, while remaining almost smoke free and odourless. This is placed in a pit in the middle of the table, under which is the device which removes any lingering smoke or smell.
Diners are offered a choice of either Asari Clam Miso Soup, or Seaweed Miso Soup. The Asari Clam Miso Soup has a lot of fresh clams, seaweed, and tofu, and the miso base is of good quality, without any monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The Garlic Fried Rice is fragrant, and the rice grains are well fried and separate easily. I did feel that the garlic flavour could have been more intense, as it was a little subtle for me.
The Arashi Kaisen Salad is a seafood salad of cabbage, tomatoes, shredded crab stick, salmon and prawns in a wafu sauce. The freshness of this dish is an excellent palate cleanser, and while it's served as an appetizer, it also goes down well at the end of a round of grilled meats.
The star attraction at Arashi Yakiniku is their selection of premium grade A4 wagyu beef, from one of Japan's top producers, the Ohmi brand of cattle. Cuts include tenderloin (SGD $68.80), kurubi short rib (SGD $48.80), sirloin (SGD $88.80) and ribeye (SGD $68.80), with ala-carte serving sizes at 150 grams. Prices are reasonably competitive, as the owner has good relations with suppliers. Furthermore, their meat is fresh, not frozen, which carries maximum flavour.
Japanese wagyu tends to derive its flavour from the fat content / marbling and has a more tender texture, in contrast to Australian wagyu with a slightly tougher texture, and where the flavour is locked into the meat, making it more intense. Both types of beef require less than 1 minute on the grill, and are beautifully smooth and flavourful. For a more natural taste, don't dip the beef in the dipping sauce.
Being high in fat, the premium Japanese kurobuta pork belly (SGD $19.80) and pork collar (SGD $20.80) is best cooked near the edge of the grill. Even without the dipping sauce, the meat is already wonderfully marinated with light soy, releasing a burst of flavour in the mouth.