Yes, I know, I know. It has been quite a while since I have uploaded anything for you all. I know you have been anticipating my next amazing recipe to try or my next restaurant review. Well you are in today because now I have an amazing new blog about a place that my wife and I tried out.
The story starts on a freezing cold day, November 29th. We wanted to try some place new, we always go to yard house or uncle Julio’s, or, as always cook. We wanted a completely new experience, so as I searched and searched on yelp I found an interesting place with really good pictures of the food. When I saw this, I was sold
Yep, this is what sold me on going to Gyuzo Japanese BBQ. I have never been to a place where you get to cook the food yourself at the table, so naturally I was excited. Now I know some people feel its a waste of money to pay a restaurant for food that you have to cook yourself. For me it is about the experience, letting the appetite build as you watch the meats cook, smell the aromas and watch the whole process from such a close distance.
While waiting for our table to be ready, we sat at the bar and I couldn’t help but notice how different their cocktails were. The flavor combinations were interesting, I mean there were some with egg whites, yuzu and they even had many different types of Sake (something I have ever only seen in anime’s).
Once we were seated, one thing I have to note is that depending on what side of the booth you sit on, your legs will be cramped because of the heating element connected to the table. The place seemed very sanitary, lively, and it was well lit too. Our server came to us in a short amount of time and she knew her stuff. She recommended we try the Rose Sake, which we ended up ordering and we also ordered their Chicken Karaage. The Sake came in a traditional looking translucent bottle with these cool little curvy shot glasses. At smell, it had a slightly sweet, rosehip, strawberry kind of aroma going on. The taste, in the only way I can describe was similar to a fruity beer, but very very light.
Now incomes our appetizer, the Chicken Karaage along with chopsticks that I am terrible at using. The server asked us if we wanted forks when she saw my face and I told her “If we are doing this, we are doing it all the way”. So now here I am, fingers cramping trying to pick up these piping hot little fried pieces of chicken and dip them into this spicy aioli that came with it. I fumbled, trying not to drop any of the food on the table or floor. I even ended up watching a Youtube video to try and learn how to properly hold the chopsticks (to no avail). The chicken Karaage was perfect, it reminded us of the fried chicken that we had at Punjab Grill in DC.
Now the moment we had been waiting for, it was time to try cooking on our tabletop stove. The menu offers a variety of different meats with different marinades. We ended up trying the spicy chicken thigh (hopefully you all remember that is my most used piece of chicken), short rib and assorted vegetables for grilling. So as we start of by cooking one piece of chicken each, it is a great time to talk while building appetite. There were a few times she asked “Is it ready yet?!”. About 5 minutes later our chicken thigh was ready to be eaten. I forgot to mention that we also received 3 different types of sauces to dip the meats and veggies in. The chicken thigh fresh off the stove top was amazing, well worth the wait, it had flavor and a great kick to the taste buds. As soon as we finished the only pieces that we cooked, immediately we loaded the grill with the short rib and veggies on the sides. We couldn’t wait another 5 minutes for more. Now 2-3 minutes later the short rib was ready, being that it was much thinner than the chicken. The beef was very tender, and good with the soy based sauce they offered.
One of my only cons during this dining experience is that there was no salt or pepper on the table. The vegetables didn’t come in any type of marinade like the meats, so there was no way to really build on that natural vegetable flavor. I get the idea of respecting natural flavor, but I think that some oil, salt and pepper would have been just enough for the sweet potato, bell peppers and squash that we got.
After the stove top experience we looked for an entree to top off the night. We noticed they had ramen, which is something I rarely eat out. Ramen is something I love to make myself, especially when I feel a cold catching on. There are so many ways to build on your own ramen and different components you can add to make it yours. For example I like typically make a chicken broth and add thyme, ginger, allspice, lemongrass, dried chilies and top it off with a few dashes of chili oil and soy sauce. Back to Gyuzo, they have a selection of different ramen’s including Brisket, steak, filet mignon, short rib, spicy chicken thigh and a spicy miso seafood ramen. To make sure we could get as much variety as possible I got the Brisket ramen and my wife got the Filet Mignon ramen. About 15 minutes later our entree’s are here and I was sadly disappointed with my brisket. Don’t get me wrong, the beef broth had depth of flavor, the ramen noodles themselves were not overcooked, they still had bite to them. My issue was that it looks like all I got was fat. I mean literally I could not chew majority of my brisket. Also those little spirally fish cakes you see on Naruto; yeah, I didn’t like them. Put them to the side with my chopsticks that I also gave up on. The Filet ramen was more firm, has better flavor and in my opinion was a better ramen bowl.
Overall, I do think that this is a fine restaurant. If anyone does read this and goes to try the place I highly recommend trying the ‘Chicken Karaage’ and also grilling your protein of choice on the tabletop stove. I hope you all enjoyed this long awaited blog, and be ready for more recipes and blogs in the near future!
As always Thanks for reading!