Every red blooded male fancies himself as a chef when it comes to cooking on a barbecue. There is something about raw meat and fire that brings out an evolutionary instinct. The great thing about yakiniku restaurants is that in a highly civilized way, everyone gets to be the chef.
Sumbimi Yakiniku-An was born out of a collaboration between Japanese entertainment personality and food fanatic Masaaki Sakai and restaurant company Y’s Table. Close to Roppongi Midtown, this Korean BBQ is perfect for lunch or an after-work meal. The restaurant can house over 1,000 diners in intimate private rooms spread over two stylish floors.
We started with natto yuke (¥1,200), an unusual dish of tartare style beef, raw egg, fermented soy beans, and soy sauce. The staff commented that this combination is “popular in Seoul, but unusual in Tokyo.” Completely raw ingredients may not be to everyone’s liking, but the freshness was undeniable.
The restaurant can house over 1,000 diners spread over two stylish floors.
As we fired up the in-table grill, we were served a light kimchi soup, one of eight types of the Korean national dish on the menu. Milder than usual kimchi, the dish prepared our palettes nicely for the upcoming feast.
The range of high-grade beef on offer was overwhelming, but a simple option is to go with the beef variety course (¥6,000 per person). The spare ribs were flavorsome, and the stomach and intestines a little strange, but once grilled and dipped in miso sauce they were buttery in the mouth.
The simple experience of grilling your own meal is a joy, though drinking with friends and trying not to burn the meat at the same time can be a challenge. The optimum way to enjoy yakiniku according to the waiter? Wrap the meat and vegetables in a lettuce leaf, add chili paste, and pop the whole parcel in your mouth—delicious.
by the Weekender
Open daily for lunch and dinner
(times vary depending on the day)
4-4-8 Roppongi, Minato-ku