The Place By the same team behind Yen Yakiniku, I checked out the few weeks old Yen Social at Duo Galleria for a Yakiniku meal. It is a contemporary restaurant interior with most tables good for 4 diners, one good aspect is that the restaurant has a state-of-the-art ventilation system so it is relatively smoke-free throughout my meal. Yen Social is helmed by Chef Jones Chen, and the concept leans toward communal dining as opposed to Yen Yakiniku, which is listed on the Michelin Plate Singapore list.
There is also one private room in the restaurant other than the communal dining area.
The Food Menu highlights include curated sharing platters for various group sizes, a good way to experience the different cuts and flavours in one tray. Some interesting options on the menu are the whisky dry-aged wagyu ribeye, as well as specialty cuts such as ox tongue and wagyu intercoastal (rib finger) cubes.
I started with a refreshing Farmer’s Salad (S$16), a mix of watermelon, mesclun salad and candied walnuts with oil-based yuzu dressing.
The next appetiser is the Yukke (S$20), raw wagyu beef served with raw egg yolk and Yen BBQ sauce. For one, it doesn’t taste raw as the BBQ sauce complements the beef well. Overall, I like it and it really whets my appetite for more meats ahead.
For small groups, the Yen Social Butcher Platter 2-3 Pax (S$109 for 300g) is ideal for sharing. It comes in a few cuts like Karubi (boneless short rib), Intercoastal and Ribeye. The staff started with the thin Karubi first, which is very well-flavoured by their in-house marination. It does not taste too fatty, yet delicious.
Moving on to the thick cut Karubi on the platter, equally flavourful as the thin Karubi with a better meat and fat ratio.
The cut which surprised me the most is the Karubi intercostal, which are the ‘rib fingers’ or muscled meat between the ribs. The staff equipped that it is like the spare ribs of a pork, except that this is much more chewy and flavourful. Marinaded lightly with sesame and garlic, it is a rare cut I seldom have for yakiniku and is definitely going to be on my menu in future.
The last part of the platter is every beef lover’s favourite, Ribeye. Expect a juicy and well-marbled flavour.
The other meat I tried was the 30 Days Dry Aged Wagyu Ribeye (S$68 for 100g). This cut uses Australian ribeye and dry aged in-house, so you can expect a tender and rich flavour. The dry aged aspect also makes the taste beefier, if I were to compare with the non-dry aged meats on the Butcher Platter I had.
Meats aside, save some space for the Wagyu Beef Noodle (S$25), inspired from Chef Jones hometown of Taiwan’s signature beef noodles. Not cheap by beef noodles standards, but this version uses Japanese Wagyu beef chunks and beef tendons which are slow stewed for 48 hours with daikon and local herbs.
The result? An umami rich soup broth which I can have more of it, and lovely beef and noodles flavours.
Will I Return Again? Good meats at Yen Social and as a yakiniku lover, this is one restaurant I will recommend to check out. It is probably ideal to come in groups of 3-4 persons, where you can try more variety of cuts without breaking the bank.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
7 Fraser Street
#01-25/26 Duo Galleria
Tel: +65 8669 6788
Monday to Saturday: 6pm to 11pm (10pm last order)
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter