Sherman's Food Adventures: Gyubee Japanese Grill

Gyubee Japanese Grill

Call it the power of suggestion.  Since we were staying at the Marriott Courtyard adjacent to the Byward Market, we had walked past Gyubee Japanese Grill quite a few times.  It got us thinking that we might just go there for dinner.  In fact, our room faced the restaurant, so every time I looked out the window, it was right there staring at me.  Costanza looked at the menu and suggested we just go have their AYCE dinner.  Okay fine, we put our name on the Yelp waitlist and patiently waited for our turn.  Seems like some others didn't do that and were turned away at the door.

Now the fact it is called a "Japanese Grill" is a loose interpretation of the cuisine.  Let's just say it was more Korean BBQ than Japanese grill.  No matter to us though since we only care if it tastes good or not!  Yes, we got a selection of Banchan as well as the usual romaine lettuce for wrapping our BBQ meats.  I quite enjoyed the bean sprouts as they were crunchy while the kimchi was a little one note.  Cold tofu was good being smooth and the cabbage salad was topped with kewpie dressing.

Onto the meats, the first set we got included also some of our favourites in the Miso Pork Belly and Sweet Soy Marinated Short Rib.  Since these were fatty and also marinated, they cooked up with plenty of char and aroma.  We found the meat quality to be quite good where the meat was well-marbled.  Hence, the result was thin slices of tender meat that cooked up quickly.

We also had the Kurobuta Sausage, Squid, Black Pepper Kalbi and a plate of both Chicken Cartilage and Chicken Thigh.  Surprisingly, we really enjoyed the sausage as it was meaty and firm, yet juicy and flavourful at the same time.  The best item in this selection was the black pepper kalbi as it was meaty and tender with lots of bite from the black pepper.  For me, I love chicken cartilage, so I got more of it after we finished this round.

Next set of dishes came pretty fast and they included Pineapple, Corn, Miso Beef Brisket, Shrimp, Prime Kalbi, Pork Belly and Thick Cut Pork Belly.  Yes, we got another black pepper kalbi as well, so good!  As for this batch, the buttery corn was yummy while the pineapple acted as a nice refresher.  Naturally, the fatty pork belly was delicious, if not sinful.  Brisket was a touch on the chewier side but it had good beefy flavour.

Onto 2 very different items in the Sake Steamed Clams and the Salmon.  They were presented in small tin bowls with tin foil over the top.  So it effectively steamed the items when placed on the grill.  We were given instructions as to how long we should cook it for.  The result was some pretty tender and moist salmon.  However, the clams were the main attraction.  They were plump with the essence of sake.

So we needed to get some veggies into the meal too right?  Well I've already discussed the pineapple and the corn, so won't comment on that any further.  We also had Oyster Mushrooms, Zucchini and Enoki Mushrooms.  Nothing unusual with the oyster mushrooms and zucchini but the enoki were bathed in a bit of butter and when they were cooked through, they were pretty tasty.

To compliment our meals, we got some starches including the Cold Noodle and Bibimbap. If we weren't convinced this was more of a Korean BBQ, then these would confirm this.  I found the cold noodle to be serviceable with chewy noodles while the bibimbap was alright.  Naturally, it didn't have all of the usual ingredients, but it did have beef, sprouts, egg and gochujang.  We mainly used this to fill our lettuce with the BBQ meats.  You could also get plain rice too, but at least this could be eaten by itself.

At the very end of the meal, we had dessert and honestly, the Crème Brûlée was shockingly good.  Beyond the torched hard shell, the custard was creamy and rich while purposefully sweet.  Then we could also choose any flavour of Melona and have that too.  What a refreshing way to end this satisfying BBQ meal.  Sure, it is still $38.00 for dinner, but we thought we got good value considering the selection and quality of the meats.  Furthermore, the service was pretty on point and efficient.  Wish there was one of these closer to me.

The Good:
- Nice selection of quality meats
- Efficient and friendly service
- They change the grilling grate often

The Bad:
- Can feel a bit rushed as all of the items come out at once, but there is a time limit (which is reasonable)
- Front door needs to be fixed as it slams really hard and loud (not good if you are sitting near it)


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