Header image courtesy of Yakinikumafia
For a special meal that incorporates interactivity with luxurious ingredients and the winning combination of meat and fire, there is nothing better than a spot of Japanese barbecue. While it is generally believed that yakiniku (焼き肉; grilled meat) originated in Korea, it has since become one of Japan’s national dishes—and there’s no arguing that Japanese beef has a towering reputation. From little eateries tucked away in nondescript office buildings to slick international restaurant brands and restaurants that deliver your meat on a conveyor belt, here are our favourite yakiniku restaurants in Hong Kong.
A relative newcomer to the list, Yakiniku Ishidaya is the first outpost of Japan’s famous Kobe Ishidaya Co. restaurant brand, with a wide-ranging selection of the prized Kobe-reared Wagyu beef available on the menu. For an affordable taste of the premium beef, swing by during lunchtime to avail yourself of their well-priced yakiniku lunch sets (starting from $128), which include the flavourful beef tongue ($128) as well as more indulgent options like the A5 Wagyu lean meat ($258) and A4 Wagyu short rib ($238).
For a more luxurious experience come dinnertime, switch the tea for one of Yakiniku Ishidaya’s wines of the month—the knowledgeable staff can help you choose complementary cuts of beef—or go for the new Wagyu & sake pairing menu.
Yakiniku Ishidaya, 3/F, Century Square, 1–13 D’Aguilar Street, Central | (+852) 2983 6838
Formerly known as Iroha, Meat Cuisine Hiro has been serving up delicious cuts of Japanese beef (albeit under different ownership) from its quiet spot in Jardine’s Bazaar since 2006. The beef on the menu ranges from Australian and American cattle to prized Hida beef, which comes from a black-haired breed of Wagyu cattle raised in Japan’s Gifu Prefecture.
For a taste of unfettered luxury, try set C ($1,180 for two), which includes 16 pieces of A5 Hida beef, four pieces of seared Wagyu sushi, and bountiful side dishes like miso soup, green salad, and steamed egg custard. For those who can’t get enough sea urchin, the Hida beef & uni sushi ($120) is a must-try.
Meat Cuisine Hiro, 2/F, Jardine Centre, 50 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2882 9877
Located just a few paces down from Kau Kee’s famous beef brisket noodle shop on Gough Street, Yakini Kuu is surprisingly easy to miss, with a discreet brick-lined entrance on the stairs down to Kau U Fong. The restaurant, whose name is a reference to its sister restaurant Sushi Kuu, is beloved by nearby office workers for its reasonably priced set lunches, with a yakiniku steak set coming to a respectable $160. We like the deluxe yakiniku set ($220), which comes with the cuts of the day, miso soup, salad, an appetiser, rice, and dessert.
Yakini Kuu, B/F, 29–31 Gough Street, Central | (+852) 2331 3805
Providing an accessible entry point to the world-renowned Wagyumafia brand, dining at Yakinikumafia doesn’t require a membership—just an appetite for delicious grilled beef. In an homage to the first city to import Wagyumafia’s prized Ozaki beef, the sleek Sheung Wan restaurant is modelled after Copenhagen Airport, with smooth chrome fixtures and a menu designed to look like a departures board.
For a little taste of everything, the staff suggest that first-time diners try the BBQ plate combo set ($480), which includes 150 grams of Ozaki Wagyu, rice, a bowl of creamy Wagyu bone broth, and the “big eye BBQ sauce,” featuring a sunshine-yellow Japanese egg yolk swimming in diced daikon and sweet soy sauce. If you’re dining in a larger group, add on a serving of the Wagyu keema curry ($280) for a thoroughly Japanese take on the Indian dish—but whatever you do, don’t forget to try the soft-serve ice cream ($40).
Yakinikumafia, 2/F, Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan | (+852) 3105 1250
Sitting squarely at the intersection of quality and affordability, Yakiniku Great has a loyal fanbase of regulars who return time and time again for its well-priced black-haired Kuroge Wagyu. The restaurant’s lunch sets—which all include a salad, appetiser, Wagyu sushi, rice, soup, and drink— range from $218 for a regular Wagyu set to $580 for a premium “executive omakase,” which includes rarer cuts of beef, more sides, and dessert. Besides a diagram showing the exact location of each cut, the menu also includes helpful instructions on how many seconds each cut needs on the grill—perfect for those who are picking up the tongs for the first time!
In the same vein as its sister restaurants, Porker and Birdie, 298 Nikuya is all about showcasing one hero protein. In addition to grill-ready platters of sliced beef, Nikuya also offers shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ; Japanese hotpot) and Korean-style bibimbap (비빔밥; mixed rice bowl), as well as decadent creations like the off-menu foie gras & Wagyu toast and uni & Wagyu rice bowl (starting from $360).
298 Nikuya Room, 2/F, Pearl Oriental House, 60 Stanley Street, Central | (+852) 3568 9298
If you have the kind of appetite that isn’t easily satisfied by set lunch portions, head to Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro, a new(ish) yakiniku joint in Jordan that offers six all-you-can-eat Wagyu Unlimited set menus (starting from $348). For 120 minutes, you can order as much Wagyu as your heart desires, all of which will get delivered to your table via conveyor belt on a nifty replica of the Shinkansen bullet train. For an extra fee (starting from $48), you can also get free-flow salads, desserts, and soft drinks, all of which are self-serve.
Wagyu Yakiniku Ichiro, 3/F, Pak Shing Building, 31–37 Jordan Road, Jordan | (+852) 2736 8218
For those who prefer to eat alone, Yakiniku Like offers a similarly self-contained dining experience as Ichiran, with a contactless ordering system and individual grills. Unlike some other yakiniku specialists whose myriad offerings can be hard to parse, Yakiniku Like presents a concise and customisable menu of eight yakiniku sets (starting from $48) which come with rice, side dishes, and soup. For the most bang for your buck, try the Delicious Trio set (starting from $75), which includes pork, beef, and chicken.
Yakiniku Like, Shop 408, Level 4, Phase I, New Town Plaza, Sha Tin