We walked past this yakiniku shop in Pontocho and made a note to come back to try because it serves Omi wagyu at a really low price.
Pontocho (先斗町) is one of Kyoto’s most atmospheric dining areas. It is a narrow alley running from Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori, one block west of Kamogawa River. The alley is packed with restaurants on both sides offering a wide range of dining options from inexpensive yakitori to traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine, foreign cuisine and highly exclusive establishments that require the right connections and a fat wallet.
Yaruki has been operating in Kyoto for more than 30 years, and Yaruki Yakiniku & Wine in Pontocho is updated with a lively modern concept that find association with the younger clientele. Quality Omi beef at reasonable (affordable) prices is acchieved by the purchasing power of the Yaruki group.
Once we were seated, the otoshi was served after the drink order was taken. There’s a “otoshi” cost no matter if you are going to order anything.
We are seated at the bar counter so you can see all the action going on in the cutting and preparation of the beef. Nothing is pre-cut, so the moisture and tenderness of the meat are sustained. You may be worried about the smell from the yakiniku. Well, while there are good hoods to suck away as much smoke as possible, you should not be coming hoping you will not be smoked.
First up, delicious raw wagyu beef sashimi served with a raw egg yolks, scallions and their special marinade. You mix the whole thing up and the finished tartare is delicious.
The freshness of meat can only be achieved because the restaurant owners are also a wholesaler of wagyu. All the beef used are A4 grade domestic beef, not the maximum A5, so you can enjoy luxurious rare parts at a reasonable price. There were only two of us so we ordered wagyu kalbi, large intestines with their special sauce and my favourite, dry aged wagyu tongue.
No matter how good the ingredients may be, the taste will vary depending on how they are cooked. Every cut of the beef changes requires different grilling time. If you are not sure, the “Meat bar master” behind the counter knows how to cook each cut and can advice the optimal grilling time.
They have spent many years perfecting their special sauce. It took them 30 years to arrive at the secret recipe of “Yaruki sauce”. It is not as sweet as those you buy from supermarket and has a very refreshing fruity taste to it. And the salt was also specially selected for the different parts of beef. Overall a very satisfying yakiniku.
This is a wonderful yakiniku. When you are in Japan and if you take beef, you must try it because the quality of the beef is simply out of this world.
Yaruki Yakiniku & Wine
182番地4 Zaimokucho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8017, Japan
Tel : 050-5828-1621
Date Visited : Dec 2017