Gyu-Kaku is a chain of Japanese yakiniku (barbeque) restaurants. Since their first Japan location 20 years ago in 1996, the chain has grown to a staggering 688 locations in 11 countries. There are now over 600 restaurants in Japan, with worldwide locations in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Taipei, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Gyu-Kaku's Toronto location opened last month on 81 Church Street. It took them 20 years to get here but I guess better late than never! My friend and I went on a busy Friday night, and thank goodness we made reservations because it was an hour-and-a-half wait otherwise.
A charcoal grill is installed in every table at Gyu-Kaku, and if you're worried about the smoke, don't be. The chain restaurant is known for their smokeless roaster, where with its down draft system, smoke is sucked in to the bottom of the table. The air was never smoky or stuffy when I was there.
Gyu-Kaku (Instagram: @gyukakujbbq, Facebook: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ) offers a wide range of ready-to-grill beef, poultry, pork, seafood and vegetables. On the menu are also a ready-to-eat appetizers, salads, soups, noodles and rice dishes.
Although this was my first visit at Gyu-Kaku in Toronto, my first Gyu-Kaku experience was six years ago in Huntington Beach, California. I even dug up the blog post for it!
SAPPORO DRAFT MEGA MUG ($11)