Barbecue restaurants in Hong Kong are aplenty, but few boast a reputation as stellar as Yakiniku Great.
Hidden in the backstreets of Sheung Wan, this unassuming Japanese barbecue joint specialises in the highest grade kuroge wagyu beef. The restaurant is cosy and well-illuminated, and you can opt to sit at standard tables or the bar area.
Once seated, courteous waiters will quickly pass you a menu and serve a wagyu sushi appetiser as pictured below (HK$30 - you can choose not to have the appetiser by the way). Wasabi and beef don't immediately strike me as a natural pairing but they complemented each other surprisingly well. Who would've thought?
As our main appetisers, we ordered a GREAT salad and freshly made kimchi.
We ordered the premium omakase (MATSU) set, which consists of 7 special rare lean and marbled wagyu cuts. This set does come at a hefty HK$620 and the minimum order is 2 servings (meaning you have to order 2 omakase sets) but remember, this is the highest grade kuroge wagyu you're getting. If you're not a fan of beef, there is also a limited selection of chicken, pork, seafood and vegetables.
As the term "omakase" suggests, the 7 cuts you receive may differ each time you order this menu as you leave it up to the chef to decide which meats are served. However, the three permanent cuts are chateau briand, misuji and my personal favourite, the kimura yaki, which is served with a luscious egg yolk and rich home-made dipping sauce.
Once you've ordered, attentive waiters will demonstrate how the meat is grilled. Take notice, there are instructions for how long you cook each type of meat - you don't want to overcook it! The wagyu is so finely sliced you only need to sear each side for a couple of seconds to add some colour and flavour, creating the perfect melt-in-your-mouth yakiniku.
Now finally, what we've all been waiting for - kimura yaki. This is probably the most instagrammed of all the dishes here. Watch the video to see the meat being seared! Are you drooling yet?
Creamy egg yolk and fatty wagyu married with sweet-savoury flavours from the soy sauce - truly a combination made in heaven. I was eating this as slowly as I could to savour every bite. I wish this course never ended.
As our last dish, we gave the negitoro rice (wagyu with onion rice bowl) a try.
To top it all off, we went with a fruity yuzu sherbet for dessert.
Verdict: pricey, but worth every dollar. This was a life-changing dining experience and has definitely raised my benchmark for barbecued meat. Amazing food, polite and courteous service, Ghibli movie soundtracks playing in the background - what more could you ask for?
Tips and recommendations
- Suitable for: casual dinners with family and friends, special occasions, impressing visitors, date nights. Not suitable for large groups.
- Order: the premium omakase set (for the kimura yaki - wagyu with fresh Japanese egg yolk and homemade soy dipping sauce).
- Tips: definitely call and book 1-2 days in advance, and at least 2 days in advance for Fridays and weekends. This restaurant is so popular it's usually always full.
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/yakinikugreat.hk/
- Location: Unit 1, G/F., Manhattan Avenue, 255 Queen's Road Central, Central
- Opening hours: dinner only, 6 - 11pm Mondays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays.
- Menu: https://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/r-yakiniku-great-central-japanese-roast-meat-r435157/menus
- Reservations: +852 3565 6129
- Wifi: no
All photos shot with an iPhone 7.
Shout out to Becky, Tim and Wesley (my PlateCulture dining pals) - thank you for recommending this place!