Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gyu King Teppanyaki


Gyu is located on the 2nd floor in the same building as Salam Bombay with elevator access on Alberni. We had a reservation for lunch, but still had to wait for almost 10 minutes in the waiting area. It was because the chefs were preoccupied with other customers and not because there was a lack of seats. The chefs in the centre were surrounded on all 4 sides by long communal tables.


The place setting was simple with complimentary green tea.


We each got a dish of 3 condiments to go with our meals. The clear one on the left was a bit sour like rice vinegar. The one in the middle tasted like garlic and went really well with chicken. The red sauce on the right was like ketchup with a more watery consistency. Behind the sauces was a dish that was kept on the hot steel plate throughout the meal. The chef would put the cooked food onto this plate so that it would stay warm.


We decided to order different lunch teppanyaki courses to share. We got the chicken ($13.95), the beef ($15.95), and the mixed seafood ($14.95). Each course came with miso soup, assorted vegetables and rice. The miso soup came piping hot and tasted pretty good with tofu, seaweed and green onions.


We ordered an extra dish of clams in sake sauce ($9.95) on the side. This was the first dish our chef prepared. He used butter to season and made sure each clam shell was open before serving. He knew we were sharing everything, so he separated each dish into three for us.


He gave us each a spoonful of XO sauce, but it was not really necessary as the clams were already so flavourful from the sake and the butter.


Next was the mixed seafood with prawn, salmon and scallop. The following picture shows 1/3 of the total portion. Once again our chef used butter to season. I think butter was used for pretty much every single dish we had. You can't really go wrong with fresh seafood and butter, so we were happy with the taste, but didn't find it particularly impressive.


On the other hand, the biggest surprise was the quality of the beef. The meat was nicely marbled with a thin strip of fat around it. Our chef asked if we'd like to eat the fatty layer or if we'd rather have it cut out. But of course we'd like to eat it! What is beef without fat?


Our chef asked how we wanted our steak and I wanted to say rare. But he asked in Chinese and I felt compelled to answer in the same language. By Chinese convention, we usually give a percentage of how well done we want our meat cooked. I said 50% at the time thinking it was rare, but found out afterwards that it was actually medium rare to medium. Luckily the meat still turned out great with a nice pinkness and even a little bit of red. It was wonderfully soft and melt-in-your-mouth with flavourful juices and just the right amount of tasty fat. It certainly lived up to being AAA tenderloin.


Then we had the free range chicken filet that took slightly longer to cook.


The meat was very juicy and tender with a thin layer of skin that was not oily at all. It was perfect with the garlic sauce.


The assorted veggies were the last course and consisted of broccoli and cabbage. They were just a tad salty for my taste, but they were ok with rice.


Regular steamed rice is included with the meal, but you could also order fried rice for an extra $1.50.


It's definitely a better deal to order fried rice if you like it, as the chef prepares it for you on the teppanyaki steel plate.


And the portion is much bigger than the steamed rice. If you order it though, expect to get it near the end of the meal after finishing the main course. But you could probably ask the chef to make it first thing so that you would have some rice to go with the meat or the seafood.


I really enjoyed this meal because it was a unique experience and the ingredients were superb. I think the place focuses on the quality of the ingredients more than the culinary skills of the chef. That is not to say the chefs were not good, but you can't go wrong with high quality ingredients and butter. With butter in almost every single dish, I'm not sure whether the food is as healthy as the original concept of teppanyaki set out to be. However, everything was delicious and that's all that really matters.

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