Head up a small flight of concrete steps and enter a narrow space divided by a row of wooden booths to the side. We love how they give you cute little bibs to protect you from the hissing yakiniku grill. More importantly, all their ingredients are clearly fresh and high quality—and it’s a pleasant, genuinely smoke-free environment.On the Yakiniku section, the menu is extensive and mostly sticks to classic choices like plates of tender Gyu-Maru karubi (boneless beef rib, B190), or the garlic butter rosu (pork loin, B190), which is wonderfully fatty and melts in the mouth.
Reviewing BBQ joints can be difficult, after all, grilled meat is grilled meat. And we’ll be honest, there’s not really anything special to distinguish Gyu-Maru from similar yakiniku in Bangkok. Head up a small flight of concrete steps and enter a narrow space split into ranks of wooden booths on one side, with more informal low-level tables on the other. It’s all perfectly cozy, if not particularly inspiring. Then again, the décor is clearly not that important to the people who eat here. For the large part, that’s Japanese businessmen who are clearly more impressed by the draft Asahi (B75 a glass/B195 a pitcher), the beer pretties and the smoke-free grills than the odd pictures on the wall. Service is equally businesslike, though the ever-bustling staff are happy to stop and give tips on preparing your tare (dipping sauce)—not too much lemon or garlic apparently. We do also love the cute little bibs you get to wear to protect you from the spitting grill. The menu is extensive and mostly sticks to classic BBQ choices like the tender Gyu-Maru karubi (boneless beef rib, B190), or the garlic butter rosu (pork loin, B190), which is wonderfully fatty and melts in the mouth, making the pungent garlic butter almost irrelevant. The Jo harami is just as flavorful. Indeed, all their ingredients, including the vegetable sides like the yasai mon (B130 for green pepper, sweetcorn and even pumpkin) are clearly fresh and of a high quality. There are also some interesting dishes like the wonderfully fiery tori (chicken thigh, B150) to be had, even if the tori basil (B150) isn’t quite as tasty. Back it all up with a decent choice of sakes and umeshu (plum wine) and you’re good to go. Our one grumble would be the lack of good set options means it does to tend to work out sightly more expensive than other BBQ joints. Gyu-Maru is not somewhere that aims to redefine Japanese cooking it’s just a straightforward eatery with a business-style approach. They give you the tools: good quality ingredients and a pleasant (it’s really smoke free) environment; It’s really up to you how much fun you have eating here. Corkage B300.
|Address:||Gyu-Maru, 2/F, Nihon-Mura, Thonglor Soi 13, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 4-9:30pm; Sat-Sun 10:30-1:30am|
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