Yen Yakiniku – Dedicated Service and Sinful Grilling

Ann Siang Hill has gone through a revamp, with new joints stepping in and up! So when my dearest Agnes Lin (ex-boss, ex-colleague and friend) hunted me down for a dinner catch up with another pal, Henry and with her craving for Japanese food – I jumped to try Yen Yakiniku out!

Key Takeaways:

  • Yakiniku means “grilled meat”
  • Quality food and great service which gives a wonderful and holistic dining experience (foodgasms included) – always comes at a pretty price.
  • Sake on a work night is never a good idea 😉

(If you are coming from Maxwell Market, it’s past Scarlet Hotel and on the left at Ann Siang Hill.) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA - Interior of Yen Yakiniku Most places with this concept serves you the meat, grill and leave you to your own devices. But not here at Yen Yakiniku.

Owner & Chef at Work
Owner & Chef at Work

That’s the Owner and they’ve got 2 others on ground to manage this place, which has been opened to public since June 2015. They’re outlet completed renovations in March and used the 2 months for training of Chefs. Not a lot of places enjoy this luxury!

Each chef is fully trainined and have the capacity to provide a dedicated service to 4-6people inclusive of taking orders, providing recommendations and pairings, cooking, serving and interacting with you. And so, we got our own Chef looking after us the whole night. Does this mean they were in on all our conversations? Nope and here’s why according to the Chef: the width of their cooking space plus the high table gives both parties (Chef and us) ample personal space yet just enough distance to have a conversation when needed. Though the night, it was apparent that our personal space wasn’t fully breached as the Chef knows when to back away and jump in to explain about the food. (You definitely need this space when catching up with bratty friends!)

Table Setting and White Wine
Table Setting and White Wine at Yen Yakiniku, $15 for House Pour White

Let’s look at the meat options we had first (since it’s Yakiniku)! First up: Ox Tongue. First time trying Ox Tongue (I’ve not even tried Ox Tail Soup) and it was all I could do not to run out the door, screaming blasphemies. It was a “must-try” and fine, we went for it. Over at Yen Yakiniku, they use the better quality of meat which is (apparently) from the deeper end of the tongue and not the tip.

Yen Yakiniku, image of raw Ox Tail
Ox Tongue, before being cooked, $27 for 6 slices.

And boy-oh-boy, was it delicious with the meat being thick and chewy (which is new to me)! We were given a separate bowls where we had to squeeze some lime juice and told to dip these into the lime for the extra pow-wow. It was cooked to perfection (medium-well), with the chives, sesame seeds and homemade sauce. Look at that:

Ox Tongue - Cooked
Ox Tongue – Cooked $27 for 6 slices

Secondly, we got ourselves the Tenderloins. Chef said medium well and who are we to object. Heck, we even got a second round of these!

Tenderloins, $78 for 3 portions (each portion comes with 4 pieces)
Tenderloin cooked, $78 for 3 potions

And then we had another 2 more rounds of beef, Wagyu Oyster Blades and Beef Short Ribs. Both were cooked to the recommended levels by the Chef.

Wagyu Oyster Blade, $48 for 6 slices
Beef Short Ribs, $18 for 1 Portion

With all that meat going on, we had to have some vegetables and glad we did (plus an O-Nigiri)! Over here, their vegetables are marinated with basic ingredients and also cook appropriately. For example Asparagus with seasonings are foil wrapped and cooked in an oven.

Asparagus $18

And then we have the lovely Eringi Mushrooms which were “sauteed” on one side (only) over the grill. It was definitely silky smooth and enjoyable to the moon and back! By the way, was grill was changed during different stages of the night.

Eringi Mushrooms
Eringi Mushrooms $15 for 1.5 portions.

The O-Nigiri was packed with salmon bits and rice. A nice carb addition that I wanted to try and completely unnecessary but still. Like their most of the dishes, it was cooked over the Grill and served to us warm!

Dedicated Grill, beyond and below our high tables
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA, O-Nigiri $18 for 3 pieces
O-Nigiri $18 for 3 pieces

While Henry and myself decided on the second round of Tenderloin, Agnes went for the Hokkaido Scallops. And according to her rave on instagram:

Hokkaido Scallops

Ended my dinner with a big fat HOKKAIDO SCALLOP. Last word to describe “heaven!”

mizubunnie aka Agnes Lin

What’s a night out with friends and no alcohol? Although we each had a drink to nurse from the start of the night (Agnes with her Red Wine, Me with my White and Henry with the Plum Wine), it felt off without some Sake to go around to add to our dinner experience. Mostly cause Henry was compelling us to.

Kozaemon Tokubetsu Junma, $90 a bottle. Chef that was with us that night, not-for-sale

Otoro Umeshu
Otoro Umeshu, $14

To end the night, we had Black Sesame Ice Cream! Surprisingly, it was on the house for us (we were also given a complimentary round of Kimchi at the start of the night)!

Black Sesame Ice Cream, $18

Other reasons why I really did like this place:

  • Again: 100% about service including their interior and restroom (see more photos below)!
  • Did not have to wait for food to cool down as it was served at just the right temperature.
  • We didn’t walk out smelling like smoke or meat.
  • Empty on a weekday night, there was one other group of three peeps aside from our group. They have a crowd on Fridays and Saturdays, and only opened for dinner service. Closed on Sundays!
Interior 5
Explanation about your meat!
Hooks for Bags below the High Tables
Toilet Situation
Now, how about that in a unisex one?

Toilet Situaation (2)
Mouthwash and more along the handwash “aisle”. Now, say whuuuuuttt??!!

Our bill that night rang up to: $454.30

We were poised while in the restaurant, said our thanks and waltzed out. The second we were out, we gasped at our little bleeding hearts (or wallets) but as we headed over to Indochine for another round of drinks, we agreed that every penny spent was worth it.

My most expensive dinner to date.