Found out about this restaurant a couple of months ago and finally had a chance to see what people were saying about it on Yelp. Turned out that Gyu-kaku has quite a long list of franchise, not just in US but also in other countries like Canada and a few countries in Asia.
When we got there they were not very busy so we were quickly seated and explained how it worked. The concept is pretty simple. It's a Japanese style bbq and you barbecue yourself. So people who think of going to restaurant as being served cooked food may not like the idea. But it's actually pretty fun especially during winter time when having a hot cooking grill in front of you is actually cozy. And the selection of items to be cooked were quite varied, from prawn, mushroom all the way to different cut of beef. We took a few minutes longer to decide on what to order since we didn't want to go with the set menu (happy hour : $50 for 2 person). We ended up ordering harumi miso skirt steak, tuna volcano, garlic noodle, mushroom medley, garlic prawn and spicy pork. The very friendly waitress told us that we would need to have second round order. So we kept the menu with us.
When the dishes came we realized why we were told that we needed to order second round. Those dishes were all very small. They were as small as those banchans from Korean restaurant. Garlic prawn - 5 prawns, the meat dishes were cut thinly but pretty much 5 slices each dish. Mind you, the price for the harumi miso skirt steak was $7.50. The mushroom medley came in an aluminum foil pouch. All we needed to do was pop it on the grill. The waitress actually told us how long to cook for each item. Good tips to avoid food being over or under cooked.
Our first round of order didn’t seem to last very long. We pop the mushroom pouch in the grill and laid the meat around it to let it cook. Meanwhile we enjoyed the garlic noodle that came in a clay pot. We were told if we let the noodle sit in the pot it will stick and formed a crust. Needless to say, we distributed the noodle in two bowls. Once the meat was cooked we enjoyed them straight away. No additional dipping sauce needed since they were all well marinated. Too much marinate in fact because after a few bites we felt overly OD of sodium. It didn’t help that the garlic noodle was also very salty.
To go with second round of ordering, we decided to order some steam rice. The rice served a few purposes : to overcome the saltiness of the meat and to fill our tummy up ha..ha.. For our second round we tried the sweet potato which also came in an aluminum pouch. And we also ordered kalbi chuck which was also thinly sliced and marinated.
|harumi miso skirt waiting to go on grill|
All in all it was a nice dining experience. We recommend trying tuna volcano (tuna on a crispy rolled rice) and the sweet potato. We may go back in the future but will only do that during happy hour.
19620 Stevens Creek Blvd #150, Cupertino CA 95014 (408) 865-0149