The Place I love Yakiniku and glad to have finally managed to check out Ito-Kacho at Mandarin Gallery, a brand which originated from Japan and expanded to cities like Singapore and Bangkok. The Mandarin Gallery outlet is quite spacious, being the only branch in Singapore. The amazing thing is that the ventilation is very good as well, with no visible or noticeable smokiness in the air. Other Yakiniku restaurants which I enjoyed previously are Aburiya and The Gyu Bar, so these are some of the expectations and benchmark I have before visiting Ito-Kacho.
The Food Meats aside, the appetisers and other options are quite varied. I spotted ramen (which defeats the point of coming here really), sushi rolls and sashimi. I decided to try the Wagyu Gyoza (S$12) and Tamago Soup (S$6) for a start. The Gyoza is quite greasy, where you get small bits of meat wrapped inside though the filling could have been more substantial. Save your calories for the meats I would say.
As for the Tamago Soup, it is essentially egg with homemade beef soup. It is a decent comforting soup, though slightly starchy and diluted. For the price, it is a big portion for a soup and ideal for sharing.
Moving on to the highlights for meats, I went for the Take Set (S$148) instead of the ala carte meat selections as it is more of a no brainer decision. This set comes with a mix of both US meats and Japanese Wagyu cuts.
For S$148, you get three types of Wagyu Naka Bara (60g), Tomo Bara (60g) and Kainomi (60g), and three types of US Beef including Jo Karubi (60g), Rosu (60g) and Tsubo-Zuke Karubi (120g). I wasn’t very impressed with the US cuts as the meats are quite tough and less marbled. The most flavourful and well-marinated of it is the Tsubo-Zuke Karubi, which is served in a bowl separately.
For a more fatty and tender bites, the Wagyu meats meet the cut better. The meats are more flavourful as compared to the US meats, though it is not particularly outstanding for me as well. The accompanying sauces to go along with the meats are the sweet or spicy sauce.
Rants The service could be better. For instance, no one explained what are the sauces to me, neither was I given any guidance about the type of meat when my platter was served. I had to turn to the menu to second guess which colour corresponds to which cut on the menu. Not the standard of service I was expecting from a Japanese restaurant.
Will I Return Again? In most aspects, I wasn’t impressed with Ito-Kacho. The meats are average, which doesn’t offer a good value for the prices in my opinion. The location in town is an advantage and if there is any consolation, you will still smell fresh after a beefy Yakiniku session here.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
333A Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6836 0111
Daily: 11am to 11pm
Ranted by The Ranter