Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: Basement, 29-31 Gough Street, Central 中環歌賦街29-31號地庫

Telephone: 2331 3805 / 2331 3092

www.facebook.com/yakinikuu

YakiniKuu is a new yakinikuu (i.e. Japanese grilled meats) restaurant operated by the same group as Sushi Kuu, hence has the same double “u” in its name. Taking over the space in Kau U Fong which used to be a restaurant called Basement (see my review here), this new eatery retains a similar vibe as its predecessor, with its exposed brick walls and secluded location making for a cosy, down-to-earth haunt.

Due to the restaurant’s small size, the tables are placed quite close to each other, but the seating is overall comfortable. When we visit the restaurant in November, it has not yet obtained its liquor license and is BYOB with no corkage fee. After the liquor license is obtained, they will offer a beverage package on its menu at $100 for all-you-can-drink beer.

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There are 8 of us at dinner, so we order a few omakase sets and also à la carte items to share, and it works out to around $500 per head. There is a Deluxe Kuu Omakase at $680 per head, and a Kuu Omakase at $480 per head. The restaurant specialises in beef, but if you prefer other meats, then a Chicken and Pork set costs $380 per head is also available.

Each set comes with salads as the appetiser. The mashed potato is simple and tasty, but don’t eat too much of it as a lot of delicious meats await!

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Before we start with the grilled meats, this beef tartare is worth a special mention just because of how attractive it looks – the perfectly golden egg yolk sits atop roughly chopped beef and screams “eat me”. Taste-wise, this beef tartare is a tad too fatty for my liking but the meat quality fantastic.

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What follows is a carnivorous journey, with plate after plate of meat being brought to our table for 2 hours straight. We are all trying very hard to race against the kitchen, by finishing as much meat as we can before the next dish is served. YakiniKuu is known for serving special cuts of meat, and our conquers include ribs, shank, thick flank, sirloin, tenderloin, diaphragm, tip steak, beef tongue and beef sukiyaki.

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The thick cut beef tongue, well grilled and drizzled in lime juice, is flavour-packed and retains an excellent bite.

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The beef sukiyaki is a  popular dish at the restaurant, and the sweet marinade is well adjusted. 

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We also get to try some chicken and pork meats, which are decent but not particularly memorable.

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With so much meat being eaten, I definitely enjoy munching on these vegetable sticks as a break for my palate! 

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I try this savoury soup with a piece of mochi in it, and am very pleasantly surprised by how delicious it is.

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The restaurant manager proudly introduces this oxtail soup to me, which is made from a special secret recipe. The flavours are deep and soothing, and tastes similar to Korean oxtail soups. The set meal also includes dessert, but the dessert compartment in my stomach is unavailable due to earlier excessive meat eating.

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As a mid-priced restaurant, YakiniKuu offers a fun and cosy dining experience and tasty cuts of beef.