Taking over the two-storey shop that was once an ice creamery, accessed from Harbour Street rather than Sussex Street, Gyuzou offers Japanese style barbeque or yakiniku, which literally translates to "grilled meat".
|Yakiniku Japanese barbeque and sauces at Gyuzou, Sussex Street, Haymarket|
Gyuzou specialises in wagyu beef and even has an opening month special of half-price wagyu yakiniku dishes for the whole month of October 2014.
|Upstairs dining area|
Part of the Yes Food group of Japanese restaurants (which also owns Wagaya and many others), Gyuzo also uses the iPad ordering system made infamous at Wagaya many years ago. As such, it's pretty easy to go nuts on the menu, especially if you're ordering as a group as we were.
We started on okonomiyaki savoury pancake which tasted freshly made beneath its usual condiments of okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise and katsuobushi bonito flakes but not overly exciting.
Served with julienned cucumber and a raw egg yolk all stirred through at the table, the yukke made for a nice precursor to lots more wagyu.
|Menu excerpt showing cow/beef parts|
(image courtesy of SD Marketing)
|Wagyu chuck tail flap|
|Wagyu oyster blade|
|Wagyu short rib|
|Vegetables for cheese fondue|
|Wagyu ox tongue|
|Wagyu rib finger|
With a dark 'skin' like outer and various tube-like pieces, the mountain chain is not for the faint of heart, nor the hard of chewing, as we found out. Flavour-wise, there's not much going on; hence the marinade probably, but the texture is that of the chewiest muscle you can imagine, then with a chewy skin layer on top. One for the thrill-seekers, I think, and not one I'll be having again.
|Seafood barbeque action|
I was noticeably less smoky-smelling than when I normally leave Korean barbeques, but also quite possibly due to the fact that the meat wasn't marinated and thus did not burn its marinade on the grill as is common in Korean barbeque, emitting plumes of smoke usually.
|Green tea parfait (front) and berry parfait (back)|
Full as a boot with Gyuzou's yakiniku offerings, particularly its so-tender wagyu cuts, dinner at Gyuzou certainly confirmed that a good time will be had at a barbeque - and that's a good time in any language.
Food, Booze & Shoes dined at Gyuzou as a guest, with thanks to SD Marketing.