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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wagyuyaki Steakhouse Review - Japanese Restaurant - Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok

Wagyuyaki Steakhouse Japanese Restaurant
Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok Wagyu Matsusaka Beef, Teppanyaki, Cocktails and Beers

20% Discount for BumRes fans



Overall Score  8/10
Taste   4/5
Ambiance  4/5
Service  5/5
Value   3/5

See Wagyuyaki Steakhouse on www.BumRes.com


Wagyu beef is well recognized among meat lovers but many of them may not know exactly how the meat actually came about.  Wagyu refers to the breed of Japanese cows that offer the meat with intense marbling and genetically known to be producing a high percentage of unsaturated fat (good fat).  One of the world’s most famous exporting Wagyu beef from Japan is the Matsusaka (means the King of Beef).  The cows are fed with premium grain, drink clean water, and spend their leisure time listening to music while getting a massage.  What a life for a cow but surely worth the good life for people who can afford the Matsusaka beef.  For its great beef flavor as well as its tenderness and juiciness, Matsusaka beef is in high demand worldwide and has a quite high market value. 







In Bangkok, there are a few yakiniku restaurants serving Matsusaka beef.  However the kind of Matsusaka beef available may not be the best ones.  Levels of marbling on the beef also vary.  Most places I have encountered usually had the A2 or A3 marble score.  A4 and the maximum A5 are rarely found and they are definitely the best of the best for the beef eating experience.  During recent weeks of hunting for restaurants serving premium beef for the winter, the Wagyuyaki Steakhouse was one of the good restaurants I found serving top notch Matsusaka beef (A4). 

The Wagyuyaki is located in the Soi Sukhumvit 24, just less than a kilometer into the Soi on the left hand side.  The restaurant is a standalone, residing in a cozy little two-story house.  Parking is available on the property but limited amounts.  This steakhouse has been around for about a year, I believe.  There were no other customers during my visit but perhaps it was because I was there for an early dinner, hoping to be in and out before getting caught in the rush hour traffic of Sukhumvit area.  I am not sure if the place would get crowded at dinner or lunch time.  To me, it could be a perfect place to have lunch but since there was no Lunch Specials, it is tough to compete with other persuasive lunch spots like the Nimonmachi nearby, Emporium, and other places in this area.  With the prices I see in the menu, I'd assume that they mainly get their business at dinner time. 






The Wagyuyaki used to have the yakiniku grill on the table but now all the grilling is done by the chef on the hibachi over the counter.  This place feels like the Teppanyaki but there is not much of a cooking show like the Benihana that we know.  Their concentration is on the Matsusaka beef but other Japanese specialties are also available.






In this review, our first menu was the Cold Shabu (500 baht).  Basically it was a green salad mix coverd with thin slices of quick boiled Matsusaka beef then topped off with the light sesame dressing.  The good impression was on the quality beef.  Salad vegetable was plain and the sauce didn’t overcome the meat flavor, so it was essentially an enjoyable starter.  The second dish was the Tuna Carpaccio.  Unlike the typical Tuna Carpaccio with the real thin slices, this was made of thicker cut of Maguro laid over a salad and steamed veggies.  Besides the natural flavor of the fish and the veggies, it was the mayonnaise that acted as a dressing.  There wasn’t much tangy bite like the usual dressing in the market Tuna Carpaccio that I am so fond of.  This dish was interestingly done but too bland for me though the freshness of the fish was a good charm. 

















Here comes the Highlight, the Wagyu Matsusaka (2,000 baht).  The chef presented the combination of the beautiful marbling meat along and the variety of vegetable as the side – all nicely organized prior to grilling.  The teppan chef carefully grilled the veggies and finally grilled the Sirloin Matsusaka to perfection right in front of me.  Then again the combination was stunningly arranged to serve.  Medium rare was mandatory for this kind of premium beef.  It looked so amazing as it came before me.  I couldn’t resist the drooling.  This dish was for sharing  with two other friends.  To be honest, I knew it was going to be super delicious and I really wanted to have this dish all to myself but its high price was an issue (for me).  I felt overly thankful to get to taste this “King of Beef.”   I mean, this beef was the best of the best.  If you have never tried it, it is a must.  The meat melted in my mouth and the natural tasty beefy flavor was something that I wanted to last forever.   This dish was absolutely To-die-for, Wagyu Matusaka with true A4 marbling score.  The Wagyuyaki steakhouse really had the top notch beef imported from Japan.  Grilled vegetables on the side were great as well, not overcooked.  For my case, the three dipping sauce given; brown soy, mayo, and chopped relish weren’t for the beef but they were best with the veggies.  This kind of meat is best on its own.  The chef was very thoughtful to grill the excess fat to crispiness as a side.  Not to mention about the fried thin sliced garlic – great compliment to the steak.  I highly recommend this dish at the Wagyuyaki.




I noticed that the Wagyuyaki steakhouse also had a handful selection of sushi, so I picked out a few-seven choices to be exact.  All the Nigiri were rolled nicely but the rice could be moister.  Each of them was sold individually; prices can be seen in the menu photos.  For the price, they were not bad at all, good and fresh enough but it had nothing to compare to the premium sushi restaurants in Bangkok.  So, if you were looking for high grade sushi, this might not be the place.  I guess this place has the sushi offering to please the diverse group of customers.   In the menu, I found a few other interesting choices of Japanese dishes.  Besides the premium beef, you can also get your favorite grilled seafood as well as other types of steaks.  There were also Don dishes or Japanese rice bowls available.  This must be for the lunch crowd since there were no lunch sets.   Prices start from 230 baht for a Oyako Don to 450 baht for Unagi Don; a little bit higher than average but fair enough for the overall setting.  













To conclude, the Wagyuyaki steakhouse surely impressed me with their top notch Wagyu Matsusaka beef.  Other dishes were made of quality ingredients but they didn’t excite me that much.  Other choices in the menu seemed attractive also.  I was told that their menu was partially created by the Japanese chef that was once active but recently passed away.  So if I get a chance, I wouldn’t mind trying other choices in the menu.  The atmosphere was basic with the straight forward good old Japanese décor.  Private rooms are available.  Since the place wasn’t big, customer service didn’t seem to be a problem.  The average price is a bit higher at Wagyuyaki but they do have discounts with credit cards and occasional promotional discounts.  For limited period of time, BumRes fans get 20% off (just mention BumRes).  Anyways, I suggest checking them out for the Wagyu Matsusaka Beef.  I promise you will love it.   






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