Post written by Weiyi aka Spoiltbytes’ husband. Photos by @Spoiltbytes
Jumbo Yakiniku came highly recommended by our 2 friends Mel & Alex. Now these are the people that recommended Drumzade in Istanbul which we ended up eating almost every single day so it’s kind of foolish not to take their advice.
After walking what seemed to be an eternity through fairly dark alleys we finally got to Jumbo. This place is usually packed so I highly advice either making a reservation or going late around 930pm (we did the latter). Thankfully we only waited around 10 mins before being shown to a table.
Warning: Jumbo is not exactly a cheap place to dine (probably the most expensive place in our trip) but boy was it worth it. For appetisers we only ordered an assort plate of kimchi (so-so). My advice is not to spend too much stomach space (or money) on the appetisers and go straight for the good stuff – the meat.
The menu can be quite intimidating as there are so many cuts of beef. Our ordering selection consisted of recommendations from Mel & Alex and also from our waiter.
Our first dish was the beef tongue recommended by our friends. The meat was flavorful with the slightly springy texture that you’d expect from a tongue cut. Yuhui who likes her meat super tender didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. I’d say it’s definitely worth a try. However do take note it’s only limited to 1 portion per person (I guess it’s because there’s only 1 tongue per cow -_-)
Our second dish, also recommended by our friends was the star of the night – the Nohara-yaki or in simpler terms sirloin meat served Sukiyaki style. The sirloin is quickly and gently seared for a couple of seconds on each side. After which, it is quickly wrapped up and dipped in raw egg. It was PHENOMENAL. I nearly cried when I ate the first piece. I usually don’t like raw egg but the rich flavour of the meat was thoroughly enhanced and tempered by the egg. The meat literally melted in my mouth. Highly highly recommended. So good we ordered it twice.
Then came our waiter’s recommendations. I can’t remember exactly what it was but I think it was the Zabuton (Shoulder) and Icihibo (Round). If in doubt, ask the waiters to recommend. I actually believe you can’t go wrong with any cut you order here. Both the cuts were also gently seared for a couple of seconds on each side (be very careful about this, nothing ruins premium beef more than overcooking). Both other selections were fantastic. The meat was juicy, tender and extremely rich. Take note of that last point though. You might think that the portions are very small, but because of the richness of the meat it can get quite ‘jialat’ or overwhelming very fast. For first timers my advice is to order dishes in pairs and slowly gauge how much more you can take. You don’t want to spoil the experience by overeating and coming out feeling grossed out.
Now a point I forgot to mention is that all the beef served here is grade A5 Wagyu, probably the highest quality you’d find anywhere. And don’t worry about messing up cooking such exquisite meat. The waiters were more than happy to help noobs like us cook.
Overall I’d highly recommend Jumbo Yakiniku if you have some cash to spare. The meat was fantastic though slightly costly as it’s in Tokyo. For more cost conscious travellers an equally good alternative is La Shomon in Kobe especially if you’re planning on going to the Kansai region. The meat was equally good but at less than half the price. Drawback is the travelling and there’s nothing much to do in Kobe compared to Tokyo. I’ll save more details for later as I think Yuhui might want me to write on that also ><
Japan, 〒108-0072 Tokyo, Minato 白金3丁目1−1 第一麻布ビル1F
Hours: Open daily · 5PM–12AM