Sunday, January 10, 2016

yummy yakiniku

If you've been in Japan for very long, you will probably have heard about yakiniku. If you're new to Japanese cuisine, yakiniku is translated as "grilled meat" and refers to a broad variety of bite-sized meats cooked on a grill. It's very easy to make yakiniku at home, and you'll often see locals cooking in this style with portable grills during festivals.

Yakiniku with veggies, rice, and lettuce
This style of cooking is also popular in restaurants, and as many have discovered, not all yakiniku restaurants are considered equal. Many of these establishments include all-you-can eat buffets or sets, where diners can choose their style of raw meats and veggies to cook on their own table-top grills. While it may be tempting to choose an inexpensive ¥1000, all-you-can eat yakiniku restaurant, the variety and quality of ingredients typically won't be very high. This is where Yakiniku King comes in!

Located on Highway 58 between Camp Foster and Kadena Air Base, Yakiniku King offers better quality meats, including several types of beef, chicken, pork, and seafood that are available in differently priced sets. The sets, which start at about ¥2600 per person for dinner, include a variety of different ingredients and meals to choose from. The mid-range set (referred to as the "Standard Course," which costs ¥2900) contains more than 100 different food options, to include rice and lettuce, meat and seafood, noodle dishes, Korean bibimbap, hot pots, various side dishes, and even dessert options!

Once diners have chosen their set, ordering is a breeze! All you have to do is choose the dishes you want to try, using a handy handheld digital tablet. There is even an English option for those customers who aren't able to read Japanese! Once the order is placed electronically, a server will bring your food and beverages right to the table. Orders are unlimited, as long as you place and eat them within the allotted 90 minute time frame.

While ordering on the tablet is entertaining, the real pleasure comes cooking and eating the actual meal. Once your raw food arrives, you can season and cook it to your liking with your table's built-in grill and the provided selection of sauces. Some meats come with sauce already and others come with only salt, so you can use soy, ponzu, lemon, or yakiniku sauce(s) to glaze your meat or use for dipping later on.

Customer service at Yakiniku King is wonderful! The servers can be called to refill drinks or provide a new grill net at the push of a button. The food is of nice quality and the vast variety of foods on the menu provides options for meat-lovers, for vegetarians, and for those who may have food allergies. It's no wonder this place has become one of our family's favorite places for a dinner with friends!

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