I have nothing against franchised restaurants from elsewhere, I really don’t. But if you’re planning to bring something into the Philippines, please make sure it’s good and not just some negligible over-priced establishment. I’m looking at you, Gyukaku!
With obvious origins in Japan, Gyukaku Yakiniku claims to be the World’s Number One Yakiniku brand. In Manila, that isn’t the case. I ate there last weekend, expecting the worst after reading a handful of reviews online but I wanted to see how things would pan out for myself.
We were there at 6 for dinner so there were barely any people. The interiors were dark, predominantly wood and leather, a lot fancier than its Japanese counterpart. Looking at the menu, we found things to be kind of pricey but I guess it was an expected range given the location. Non-wagyu orders were in the Php 300-700 range per plate.
They started us off with some dipping sauces, one was thick and sweet and the other looked just like soy sauce but of course it wasn’t just that, it was probably special.
When our food came, we were shocked at the portion sizes. I felt like the butt of a bad joke. We ordered a Horenso salad (Php 195) to share since the waiter specifically said it was good for two. Now, feast your eyes on the photo above. That’s half a salad. They said they’d split it for us.
HALF A SALAD. GEE THANKS. I literally ate this in two bites. The Horenso salad is their best seller and consists of fried garlic, mushrooms and a creamy roasted sesame dressing. Oh and like, 5 leaves or something. This is the tiniest salad I have ever ordered in my life, what a rip off. Good for two daw. It wasn’t even anything great. If you’re curious about sizing, this bowl is as small as the bowls they have at a typical Chinese restaurant.
The plate of meat up there, right with the salad was the Karubi in Large (Php 595). They claimed it was large but it was really, freaking small. I mean, look at that plate. And for the price, gah. Anyway, in Gyukaku you can pick what marinade to have your meat drenched in and for this, we ordered the Spicy Miso. After cooking and eating a few pieces, we found that this was barely even spicy and was actually pretty sweet. We also found that this was totally not worth our money. Meat quality was OK like if the order was Php 200 it’d be totally worth it.
This other tiny plate was the large order of Harami (Php 295). The menu specified this was “good for the ladies due to its low fat content”. Kind of sexist, don’t you think? We were suckers so we ordered it anyway, just cause it was the cheapest meat and we were still hungry.
This came as an additional order since we didn’t expect the large servings to be so deceptive. It was strange too, cause this tiny plate of raw meat took absolutely forever to get to our table. I had to bug the waiting staff 3 times to get this on our table. Figured they were probably raising the cows in the back room, fattening them up for our consumption.
We got it in the Tare marinade which they said was the best-seller. Also, it was sweet. Didn’t sense much difference in the quality of the karubi vs. the harami. To be honest, the harami was easier on the pocket which makes it way better but still to be honest, it was just OK.
Food here’s nothing great folks. If you want Yakiniku that’s worth every penny, just go to Sandaya along Pasay Road. I mean, the CAB Angus Beef Boneless Short Rib is Php 350. The beef’s better, the sauce is better, it’s just an overall awesome dining experience. Not like the great disappointment that is Gyukaku Philippines. I felt so ripped off. Total bill was Php 1200 for just that.
W Global Center 30th St. corner 9th Ave.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Mobile: +(63 918) 917-2611
Open Daily 11.00am to 11.00pm
DISCLAIMER: Paid for my food and I won’t be back until they can prove it’s worth spending on.