Bangkok Post reviews
Good value for Money
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: June 24, 2011 at 9:37 am
For lovers of DIY Japanese barbecue or hotpot buffet, Yuu Jung satisfies all
The premium two-in-one buffet allows diners to enjoy as many as 51 shabu shabu and barbecue items within a 75 minutetime frame.
An all-you-can-eat version of the long cherished Yuu Yakiniku restaurant, Yuu Jung was recently born to answer to the widespread request for an economical alternative of the more premium, more expensive Yuu.
There are two outlets of Yuu Jung. The first opened early this year at Paradise Park on Srinakarin Road. The latest addition, this week's subject of review, opened three weeks ago at the brand new community mall, Amorini, near Suan Siam waterpark.
Occupying a spacious unit on the 2nd floor of the "Greece-inspired" shopping plaza, Yuu Jung boasts brightly lit interiors, thanks to its glass walls and high ceiling, decked to offer a comfortable dining experience.
The dining style is DIY Japanese barbecue and hotpot buffet. For 229 baht or 388 baht per person, guests can enjoy many items and as much as they like from the extensive BBQ and shabu shabu menu in 75 minutes. The items are to be cooked at a tabletop stove, which is exclusively designed and made to serve as a two-in-one cooking station.
The best-selling dessert, yukiya , or shaved milky ice with strawberry and mochi.
The meat can be grilled on the brass sheet encircling the ceramic pot of boiling soup. However, I found the cooking instruments, though well served its purpose, rather small for diners who are seriously here for the barbecue or shabu shabu.
We had to settle on either a regular or premium priced buffet. The more economical one would allow us to partake of the 36-item selection, which includes seven choices of beef, pork and chicken, eight kinds of seafood and a number of meat balls and vegetables. The more lavish choice featured 15 more choices, including premium graded beef and pork, tempura prawn, garlic fried rice, salmon fish ball and seaweed salad. We picked the latter, of course.
Our protein of choice was premium beef tenderloin, premium sirloin, beef hump, beef chuck, pork collar, pork loin, pork belly, pork bottom, shishamo (egged fish), salmon belly, squid and prawn.
All options of beef and pork were sliced thinly and could be grilled or boiled.
I loved the premium sirloin and beef hump, which yielded a good amount of fat that gave the meat a juicy flavour. These two types of beef were tasty either on the sizzling barbecue or as part of the hotpot. They were to be compared with the leaner version of tenderloin, which could be over cooked easily.
However, a different impression was lent by the pork. I found that the leaner version, tasted more subtle, yet was as super tender as the fatty type. To be exact, the pork loin tasted better than pork belly, which was oily.
The comfortable, generously spaced and well ventilated dining room of Yuu Jung.
The marinated pork and beef were overwhelmed with pepper and were less delectable.
Except for the egged fish and the very fatty salmon belly, which are best grilled, I found the seafood more ideal for boiling than for barbecuing, as were the various kinds of meatballs. Among the selection we tried were salmon, shrimp, imitate crab claw and seaweed pork balls. They were fine. While the vegetables on offer were Napa cabbage, morning glory, celery, cabbage and choi sum, and eringi and golden needle mushrooms.
Salad and deep-fried items are great to kickstart any meal. We enjoyed seaweed salad, potato salad and moyashi (bean sprout salad), deep-fried battered chicken, and koroge (deep-fried stuffed mashed potato).
One order of the shrimp tempura yields three pieces of the golden brown, deep-fried battered prawn and it was satisfying. The dish was served conventionally with the special tempura dipping sauce, which is to be flavoured by minced turnip and ginger.
As a tasty stomach filler, the mild-tasting garlic fried rice intermingled perfectly with the grilled meat and the sauce.
Desserts and beverages are not included in the buffet and you have to order them separately. Among the 10 dessert options were cookie creme brulee (90 baht) and lychee jelly (50 baht), the best-seller being yukiya, or shaved milky ice with strawberry and mochi (139 baht). This huge-portion is sweet and best for sharing, and was delightful.
During our weekend lunch visit, the restaurant was fully occupied and service was the only factor was lacking. Our table wasn't properly looked after. Empty dipping sauce bowls were left sitting at a very noticeable spot for a long time until we finally asked for attention. The same thing with the shabu stock that was left scarce. It seemed the number of staff wasn't coordinated with the number of guests.
All in all, the meal was satisfying. And, as proof of a good ventilation system, very little trace of the grilled food odour lingered on our clothes when we left the restaurant.