Saturday, April 7, 2018

Superb cheap charcoal Yakiniku (焼肉) at Aburiya, Boat Quay!

👍 A great balance between cheap off-cuts and pricey premium ones.
👎 Our charcoal pit started losing heat 2/3 way through dinner.

What, to you, is needed for a good Yakiniku (焼肉)? For us, it's these criteria ...
✓ A Charcoal Grill
✓ Good selection of highly marbled meats
✓ A wallet-friendly price

... of which, of course, most places normally only meet two out of three.

We then heard that Aburiya over at Boat Quay might be able to check all three boxes, though, so we headed over on a Friday night to check it out!

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay

The main reason we're here is for their Aburiya Kiriotoshi Tokumori which, at about $16/100gm, is remarkably cheap. Naturally there's a catch: these are the assorted cut-off ends of all the various other types (and cuts) of meat served in the restaurant, so you don't get to choose what cuts you want, and you don't get perfect, artfully arranged slices.

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay

That's okay, though, because these are slices of proper yakiniku Wagyu and Tokachi* beef, and are almost as good as the pretty cuts!

* "Tokachi beef" is a brand of beef from the Tokachi region in Hokkaido. The Tokachi beef served in Aburiya are from a cross breed between Kuroge (黒毛) and Holstein cattle.

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Kiriotoshi Tokumori

Aburiya does serve up a wide variety of more premium cuts and meats too, though! We added on an order of Wagyu Jo Karubi ($16; higher grade available at $26) ...

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Wagyu Jo Karubi

... and an order of Atsugiri Tongue ($20; other grades available at $16 and $25).

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Atsugiri Tongue

Surprisingly, Aburiya serves the Jo Karubi in (relatively) thick, chunky slices - around 1.5cm rather than the 0.5cm or so that's typical for yakiniku. We like this quite a lot - the thicker slice means you can get a far better char on the edges while still maintaining a juicy, fatty, medium/medium-rare inside.

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Wagyu Jo Karubi

The tongue was also really good. We like the beefy flavour of yakiniku'ed beef tongue, but if it's not prepared properly it can be really tough. No such problems with this particular tongue!

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Atsugiri Tongue

Oh, we also ordered an obligatory Yasai Mori (assorted vegetables, $13), which turned out to be just so-so. If you want to keep a balanced diet, you'd probably be better off ordering something else like salad, or kimchi, or specific vegetables to throw onto the grill.

Cheap Yakiniku Singapore Aburiya Boat Quay Assorted Vegetables

After adding on a couple of $5 soft drinks, a bowl of $3 rice, and taxes and service charge, the final bill came to $120.06 (for two people). So perhaps not so wallet friendly after all after adding on all the more premium extras. Nevertheless it's still a pretty good value, in our opinion, and totally worth a return visit.

Aburiya is at 79 Boat Quay (it's closer to Clarke Quay rather than Raffles Place). Reservations recommended: For our Friday night visit without reservations we had to wait for about 10 minutes for a table. Non-halal.

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