Diners Get Grill Happy at Gyu-KakuFeatures Order of the Day
October 28, 2012
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ provides diners with the ultimate eating experience, from the friendly, welcoming atmosphere to delicious food cooked fresh at the table, the total package is served up at the Windward Mall eatery.
Regular and first-time patrons routinely flock to the Kaneohe location to experience the thrill of yakiniku cooking — the process of grilling meat and vegetables over hot coals or a burner.
“The yakiniku culture is such an innovative, social way to dine, and bringing something like this to a country town such as Kaneohe was a great addition,” says general manager Sean Santiago. “We localized the menu and made it affordable, and we actually structured our pricing so you can come here two or three times a week rather than saving a huge portion of your paycheck every month to take your family out to dinner.”
From couples enjoying a relaxing evening out to large birthday parties and business gatherings, Gyu-Kaku blends aspects of traditional Japanese cooking and cuisine with local tastes and flavors.
“Our restaurant is nice and comfortable, very spacious, so families can come and enjoy the social atmosphere,” Santiago says. “All the dishes are portioned so diners can share everything. You get to cook the items how you want them, and enjoy every bite hot off the grill. When you order a steak somewhere else, you eat it how they prepare it, but here, you control that.”
Gyu-Kaku offers a wide variety of poplar lunch sets, including Toro Beef ($6.95), which features thinly sliced “beef bacon” that comes with a choice of marinades. Diners can choose from Shio White Soy, Tare Sweet Soy, Miso, Yuzu Kosho, Garlic and Basil marinades to give their beef that distinctive flavor and aroma. Pork Lover’s Set ($13.95) is a new addition to the lunch menu, and serves up Smoked Pork Belly, Kurobuta Pork Steak and Kurobuta Sausage.
All lunch sets also include miso soup, salad, rice and a soft drink to complete the meal.
“We try to take the pain out of ordering,” says Santiago. “We have some larger sets such as the Pork Lover’s that serves as Yakiniku 101: You get to enjoy the best of everything we have in that genre of food, and it’s the easiest way to go. We designed the menu so you don’t have to think about it.”
Garlic Shrimp Tatsuta-Age ($7.95, $6.95 at happy hour) serves as a popular a la carte item, as the shrimp is battered and flash-fried, and served with lemon and a zesty chili mayo. Kobe New York ($13.95) offers diners Kobe Steak with Japanese sea salt, and as Santiago explains, the restaurant went through so much of the choice beef after it was offered on the menu that the exceptional cut is now prepared by the distributor exclusively for Gyu-Kaku — the only location internationally at which one can find this specific cut of beef.
Diners can take advantage of happy hour specials available all day Sunday and Monday, as well as from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to closing Tuesday through Saturday. Additionally, Gyu-Kaku features “Super Happy Hour” deals from 9 p.m. to closing Sunday through Thursday — the perfect value to satisfy those late-night cravings.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
46-056 Kamehameha Hwy #F1, Kaneohe
Open daily at 11 a.m., last dinner seating at 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday