YAZAWA Saigon review – by Cheri The Glutton

Yakiniku Yazawa Saigon: The Best Wagyu BBQ Restaurant

As you might know already from SNS, Yakiniku Yazawa Saigon is going to grand open on May 1st. I had the great opportunity to dine there the other day. Having written many posts for the next 2 weeks already, I’d like to prioritise the Japanese BBQ over those. The restaurant would bring the dining scene in Saigon to the next level.

The Japanese BBQ Loved By The World

Among Southeast Asian countries, it’s well-known that Yakiniku Yazawa Singapore has been a great success. So when heard the BBQ restaurant would come to Saigon, I was like “Yes, finalyyyyy!”

Apparently, they have their restaurants in Italy and the US as well, and to some extent I knew they were all successful. But I actually didn’t understand why they were extraordinarily at all.
I mean my dining experience at the restaurant was just mind-blowing. We have an incredible place here in Saigon now.

The Place To Invite Your Guests

One of the hard questions I often get asked is “Which restaurant should I bring my business partners to?”. So I’ve tried all sorts of restaurants. But they are often either “restaurants with beautiful meals but no-frills” or ”restaurants with a supreme atmosphere but nothing to eat”. That’s why it’s really hard for me to suggest some.   

(Of course, we have superb restaurants and it’s up to their budget to suggest)  

Yazawa Saigon, however, has both fabulous food and the perfect atmosphere /floor allocation. What’s more, they have a first-class hospitality training for their staff.

I’m not sure how many my blog readers are looking for a restaurant to entertain their clients, but I would like tell you that

“If you are looking for a restaurant to invite your guests, just go to Yazawa Saigon and experience the excellence yourself right now”.

I mean you wouldn’t invite your important guests to a restaurant without pre-visiting the restaurant yourself first, right? So I would suggest you to go there before it gets hard to make a reservation.

Surely you can enjoy their dish casually too. Anyways, It is just so outstanding in Saigon.

Beautiful Interior Yet Functional

Actually the exterior of the place was still undergoing a renovation on that day. And there was no sign, so I felt like” Where the heck is it?” at first. But it is on Dien Bien Phu St. and quite easy to access. You know “Sukiya” and the fabulous crab restaurant I introduced before, “Ut Ca Mau” on Pasteur St., right? From there, go down the Dien Bien Phu St. toward the consulate general of Japan, and you will find the restaurant.

Here’s their sign inside the premises.  

And after going through the gorgeous entrance, a stylish waiting bar is welcoming us.

The first private room area looks like a igloo and can be separated with a partition according to the number of a group.

Counter seats are somewhat casual but still keeping a relaxing atmosphere. So it would be good to spend a quality time with your loved ones over beautiful food.  

They have semi-private rooms too. So when making a reservation, you can request a type of room you are after.

What’s more, the “second” private room is a special room. There’s a path specifically for this room from the entrance. Wow.

Well, when you think about it, celebrities and government officials need a privacy indeed.

It is said that there are some restaurants where ordinarily people cannot dine but there aren’t many.

Anyways, the restaurant is so stylish but functional as you can see. It is fortunate for us to have such a place.

What About Menu And Price?

At this point, I’m sure some of the readers would feel this restaurant is too expensive to them. Or some of them might not need to invite their clients for fine dining. Surely it’s not a cheap restaurant. Well, let me show you some of their dishes.

*The menu might be revised in the future

Each dish would be around $15-$25. As for steaks, the price would be around $35-$90. They also have a special dish called “Yazawa Yaki” and one slice of it would be around $15, so it is obviously a high-class restaurant.

But..

The quality was great, of course. And what surprised us the most was…

This OMAKASE course!!

We tried other dishes as well this time. But this course includes Wagyu Tartar and 7 kinds of beef and is available at just 1,380k dong, less than $70… What…???

How? I mean, how can they achieve such a high-quality course with excellent service at such a reasonable price? And here in Vietnam? As you know, importing meat, especially high-quality meat, costs a lot of money. Were I a BBQ restaurant owner, I couldn’t compete with them…

Also, their alcohol menu is like…  

This.

While some wines are for special occasions, others are somewhat casually available from 880k. How nice!   

The restaurant actually has a Japanese sommelier. So they could give you an advice in multiple languages when choosing wine according to your requests on that day.

What’s more, you can enjoy cocktails at similar prices at modest bars in the city. I was expecting much higher price. But there are actually many options to choose from according to the situation, then. Cool.

Let’s Eat: The Dishes Beyond Description

“Cheri, you overwrite on your blog. Just show us what you’d had!” I know, I know. But I’ve just kept ignoring that requests

You can skip to the point you would like from the contents at the top. So….

Anyways, let’s dive into their dishes!

Namul with flower

Many BBQ places serve namul. But this one is cooked with flower!

Come to think of it, flowers are used for hot pot and many dishes in Vietnam. And they are not just for the beauty but also for the taste. Yazawa Saigon respects the Vietnamese culture and is adapting their menu. How wonderful!

Here’s a closer look.

It looks cute and beautiful, and more importantly tastes great! Each of the distinctive taste is well cultivated on the plate. With this plate, foreigners coming to Vietnam can enjoy the Vietnamese culture naturally at a Japanese cuisine. That’s so thoughtful!

Assorted Kimchi

There are many Koreans in Ho Chi Minh, so we have a lot of good kimchi here. Yazawa Saigon is Japanese cuisine but their kimchi is very different from ordinary kimchi we often have in Japan.

It’s quite hot actually. I like kimchi this hot. “Ok, I’m ready, bring me some rice! Em oooooi!” ( Cheri wait, you came here for juicy meat, not for rice!)

Salad

There are many varieties in salad but we chose the one with tomatoes, rocket and watercress. I’m eating veggies not because I particularly like them or try to be healthy but because I can EAT MORE MEAT with them! Please take a note on that!

So this salad, each ingredient tastes vividly and tomatoes were chopped up carefully and beautifully assorted.

This potato salad was not ordinary too. It tastes like a Japanese traditional stewed dish called “Nikujaga”. I’ve actually tried to cook like this at home, but this one looks much more elegant and tastes better…

Finally, we are ready for MEAT!

First up, we’ve got..

Beef sashimi! How beautiful is that!

Oh, they apparently have a fridge at the airport and when importing their meat, they keep them in a fridge at the airport while waiting for the custom. That’s why.

What’s more, the meat is not frozen through the whole process to keep the freshness and served as chilled meat. Holly… It obviously tastes better than the frozen ones.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have expected that one day we could have such a high-quality beef sashimi in Saigon. It is actually hard to find such a high-quality meat even in Japan. Oh, it’s melting in my mouth…

Next up, we’ve got..

Steak Tartar!! (The photo is blurry.. you can tell I got too excited to keep calm)

It is generally banned to serve in Japan, or you have to pay tons of money to eat it safely.

Given its succulent taste, this steak tartar at Yazawa Saigon is quite reasonable. I wonder how much it would cost in Singapore. Probably a lot.

Here is beef sushi.

We cannot see from the photo but rice underneath the meat is also from Japan. And it tastes as wonderful as meat above by being cooked with sushi vinegar.   

Closer look. It’s like we are eating an art on the plate.

We are usually loud as a group and busy talking about this and that while eating, but we didn’t say a word at this point….

And just waiting for the next masterpiece.

Next up, we’ve got ox tongue.

Look how thick that is! And beautifully sliced.

Sometimes people have this notion that ox tongue is healthy probably from its chewy texture. But actually it’s got fat relatively a lot. And that’s the point.  

It’s quite important to choose the ones with good fat as the subtle difference in fat makes a huge difference in taste and flavour.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh…

Just thinking about it makes me drooling ….

Juice on the surface, chewy texture, flooding umami inside. Nothing else needed.  

“Mr. Ox Tongue? Mr. Tongue, are you? I thought we’d met many times before. But I guess that wasn’t you!”.

I mean I cannot function well. It’s just mind-blowing!

And then, we have…

This gorgeous one.. Thinly sliced marble beef.

I’ve been saying I’m not that interested in fatty meat lately, but since Mr. Ox Tongue opened up my world again, I guess I have to be open to this one as well… Well, let me just get straight to the point. Great meat has juicy fat, and I just wanna try this “Yazawa Yaki”, one of their signature plates.

So thinly sliced and almost transparent! We can see through the fire there!

A well-trained staff serve for us perfectly (Who would dare to bbq by themselves here?). And we ate it with grated yam!

Wait, where are the photos for it…. Oh, my… I couldn’t help eating them up before taking a single photo for it. It’s not my fault… The meat was too good… So not my fault….

As you might know, yam contains enzymes and compounds such as diastase and saponin. Those help us digest the fat in our stomach better, so we wouldn’t have a heavy stomach the next day after eating juicy meat with yam. It’s not just about the taste but also the whole experience that counts. It would taste better if it’s good for our health.

I was proudly making a speech to the cloud and then….

Wowww!  

Just gorgeous!

I mean, it’s beyond description!

This… So… ◯▲×※◆☆!!!!(My mind was out of control at this point)

By the time of the last meat I was so satisfied and was like “I’ll do whatever you want!”  

Look how juicy that is!

We had condiments on this course which were quite inspiring too. You should check it out.

Like Mo Mo Paradise nourished the culture of “Sukiyaki with raw egg” in Vietnam, I hope Yazawa Saigon would change the BBQ culture of “the longer cooked, the safer and better” and many people can enjoy the juicy tender meat here in Vietnam as this country develops.

After having juicy meat, you should try Yazawa Special Rice. It’s like a stone-roasted bibimbap with some spices. The special soup on it was fabulous.

Garlic rice was nice (Yes, I had 2 rice dishes…How much can I eat?)

But what I would like to emphasize here is this.

That is Cold Chicken Noodle.

Just stunning!

They can branch out with this one anytime!

When it comes to cold soup, it’s really hard to decide how much saltiness it should have. What’s more, cold soup cannot have fat which usually gives a spike in a soup. Furthermore, I don’t like ramen much personally….

But I wouldn’t be surprised if they opened a restaurant specifically for this noodle. And this is just one of the side dishes for them??? How amazing their chef is!

By the way, the Cold Chicken Noodle comes with plum paste. And I was saying to everyone ”Wow, the plum paste must go with it. Remember to put it in the noodle”. But the ramen was too good and I’d almost forgotten to put it by myself. So please remember to put it in…

Extraordinary Restaurant We’ve Never Experienced In Saigon

This is an excellent Japanese BBQ place where you can invite your guests as well as casually enjoy your quality time with your loved ones.

I’ve never tried yakiniku BBQ like this place before. To me, “Yakiniku” was somewhat more casual and most Japanese would agree with me.

We have a lot of ordinary “Japanese BBQ” and ”Wagyu restaurant”. But Yazawa Saigon is just extraordinary and cannot compare with the ordinary. It’s totally on a different level! I didn’t do anything myself but I’m so proud of having them in Saigon. This is one of the beauties of Japanese cuisine with Wagyu Yakiniku.

Here is a Hojicha ice cream. (Yes, I’m still eating on…)

Oh, this distinctive flavour and taste… This is apparently a special recipe from my favourite tea shop. You can tell the difference at a first bite, for it’s such a recognizable flavour.

Lastly, the Japanese manager of this place has built a good relationship with their staff. It’s not easy to train the staff for excellent service but I could see their mutual trust among them from this visit. When doing something with someone in the future, I would love to have a good partnership with the person like they do.

Overall, the restaurant is extraordinary in many aspects. Highly recommended!

Grand open on May 1, 2019.  

Restaurant Details

Japanese Yakiniku  Yazawa Saigon

219  Dien Bien Phu Q1

Phone: 028 6275 4129

Yazawa Saigon

Original post in Japanese: http://cheritheglutton.com/blog/yakiniku-yazawa/