Monday, 27 April 2015

JVlog #15: Tokyo Dining - Gyumon (Yakiniku aka Japanese BBQ)

Good Day Everyone,

Hubby and I recently headed out for dinner in the Shibuya area of Tokyo to a yakiniku restaurant. Yakiniku literally means grilled meat in Japanese and is the term used to describe a Japanese BBQ where you grill bite sized pieces of meat at the table - a kind of do it yourself concept.
We had read really positive reviews on TripAdvisor about a restaurant called Gyumon which uses halal certified meat and given that halal meat is quite difficult to come across in Japan, we were super excited to try this place out :o).

Gyumon is a good 10mins walk from Shibuya station. To get to the restaurant you head towards the Shibuya Police Station and walk along the main road that runs parallel to the Tokyu Toyoko train line on the map. Once you pass the Police Station, after about 5mins of walking there is a 7-Eleven convenience store on the left, and just after that there is a narrow little side street, still on the left, that you turn into and Gyumon is on the right, just before a shoe store. If you walk past the 7-Eleven and come to a large cross road junction then it means you've passed the little side street that you needed to turn into. Here is a Google map link, in case you ever wish to find it.
Gyumon is a tiny little place which you can easily miss if you blink. As you can see from the photo above, it has no obvious name on the front in English, but there is a little board with newspaper/magazine cuttings and the halal sign in front of the restaurant.
The restaurant is spread over two floors but despite this there is limited seating. I'd recommend making a reservation if you can or getting there when it first opens, which is what we did, otherwise you will have to queue outside.

The interior of the restaurant is kind of basic and sparse with posters and drawings on the walls, but don't let that put you off because what it lacks in visual aesthetics, it more than makes up for in it's food :o).
Above each table is a long silver extraction flute and underneath that is where the BBQ grill containing the charcoal is placed.
 Like the interior, the menu itself is also pretty simple.
We opted for the set menu which comes with three different types of beef (beef shoulder, beef round meat and beef rib loin), a bowl of rice, a bowl of salad and a drink, all for ¥4,000 plus tax. We then supplemented this with a second bowl of rice as we were unsure of the portion size. We also added a portion of vegetables for the grill because my hubby isn't much of a meat eater.
The meat portions were quite generous as was the portion of rice and in hindsight we could easily have done without that second bowl of rice. The meat comes lightly seasoned and with two different types of sauces; chilli and BBQ.
Now hubby and I are no meat experts, but I can honestly tell you that this was some of the best meat we've ever tasted. It was very tender and juicy but also very flavoursome without the chilli and BBQ sauce. It was great fun cooking the meat ourselves, as and when we wanted to eat it, thus ensuring it was always nice and hot. You can see us in action in the short video below.
We thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of a yakiniku restaurant and would highly recommend Gyumon. Although the food is very simple, it is extremely tasty and satisfying with generous portion sizes. Plus the staff are really friendly too.
Have you ever tried a yakiniku restaurant? Are there any restaurants in Tokyo that you would recommend? I'd love to hear your suggestions :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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