Several weeks ago, we met a new Japanese friend at a restaurant opening. With my devotion to Japanese food, I was keen to ask them where they considered to be the best Japanese restaurant. As they also lived in Brisbane, I expected somewhere not too far, but unsurprisingly they advised that I'd have to trek down to the Gold Coast to get my fix at Wagyu ya. Having browsed their menu, it would be safe to say that it is a venue that needs to be saved for a special event. With the coming of my long awaited birthday, my companion went all out and took me
Whilst the shopfront is a takeaway store, the restaurant is situated behind, which you have to get through by a dingy little alleyway. I think that added to the ambiance of the restaurant though.
Having seen the front of the stall, one would definitely not expect the wonderful setting we found ourselves in at the back. It was quiet, shaded by foliage on the roof and had calm relaxing music to top it off. We were really lucky to have a friend advise us to make a reservation as all walk ins that we saw got turned down that evening.
Each place was given their own set of dipping sauces at the offset. Normally I wouldn't go into too much trouble to mention dipping sauces, but in this instance the bbq sauce and the sesame garlic combination was unbelievably delicious that it is well worth the note.
Lemon water was provided, but I also had to try their Lemonade Chu Hiチューハイ, which was a combination of lemonade and shochu 焼酎 which is a traditional Japanese Liquor distilled from rice, buckwheat, barley, sweet potato and brown sugar. Having it with lemonade made it quite enjoyable for me, as I could see how it would have been very strong if drunk straight.
We started the meal off with Gyoza, which was very delectable. It had thin skin, a crispy bottom and flavoursome fillings. needless to say I enjoyed it very much.
We also shared a dish of salmon sashimi, which was large and generously thick cut and fresh. Normally, I would have been very excited over this dish, but it was my next dish that definitely what captured my attention like no other.
The highlight of the meal was without a doubt the premium wagyu beef combination. It contained three types of meat, Wagyu Karubi, Wagyu Ro So and Wagyu Harami sourced from the award winning Jack's Creek, which has most recently won the title for Best Steak in the World. Having previously enjoyed the wagyu at Nonbei we expected something similar or slightly better. What we got absolutely blew our minds. I don't think I've ever tasted such tender wagyu that literally melts in your mouth. Of the three, my favourite was definitely the Wagyu Harami, which was served marinated. This seasoning was soaked well into the flesh and gave it a very distinctive flavour.
We also ordered an extra dish of the Black Angus Karubi (rib). Comparing it to the wagyu, we could definitely tell the difference. Whilst being reasonably marbled it was nowhere near as tender as the wagyu. Nevertheless, it was still more delicious than many other cuts of meat I have had before.
Other than the beef, we also tried the Bangalow Buta Bara, which was pork belly. It came topped with spring onions. The pork grilled nicely and was perfectly crunchy. It served as a good contrast to the beef, but whilst it wasn't marbled as such, the fat did render very well in the hotplate. We enjoyed it very much.
Price Range: $50 - $70 per person