When I first heard of Emporium Shokuhin, I dismissed it, “Chey, another hyped-up, newfangled concept.” You see, over the years, I come to find out that F&B values concept over food, that the concept is cool but the food cannot make it. But I was wrong about Emporium Shokuhin.
Emporium Shokuhin is a Japanese supermarket that houses 7 restaurants and a take-out. Different from other Japanese supermarkets, Emporium Shokuhin imports their products directly from the producers, farmers, and fisheries, cutting off middle-persons. The savings are then passed to us, the consumers. The Meiji milk here is cheaper than NTUC’s!
Besides the good value, the supermarket specializes in:
(1) live Japanese seafood, still swimming in tanks,
(2) hard-to-find, upscale items like foie gras mousse,
(3) products from Ehime prefecture, known for their citrus fruits, salt, and sake,
(4) their own dry-aging facilities for USDA Prime beef, Australian beef, and Miyazaki beef.
Although the restaurants are meant to showcase their own supermarket’s ingredients, the food at Gyuu Yakiniku Grill is rather good.
Yakiniku or Japanese BBQ is usually costly in Singapore, but Gyuu is (relatively) affordable because they import the ingredients without middle-persons.
Every thing we tried was so shiok. For any beef, just sprinkle a bit of salt to bring out the flavor of fat. Mr Fitness likes his beef extremely fat, marbled, tender, and juicy, so he prefers the A5 Miyazaki Jo Karubi ($38/100g, about 6-7 slices, above). I prefer a leaner cut with meat that I can chew; the 21-day aged USDA Prime ribeye ($42/100g, below) is perfect for me.
This was the first time I had something called one-bite, which is thinly sliced A5 Miyazaki Zabuton ($38/100g) wrapped around rice drenched in a sweet soy sauce. It looks like sushi, and it is in fact an umami explosive.
For carbs, order the Ishiyaki bibimbap ($16). If this is your first time in a Yakiniku, you may wonder why a Korean dish is served. But in reality, all Yakiniku restaurants I’ve been to serve bibimbap. Although it’s a Korean dish, it has become a Japanese staple to serve at Yakiniku.
The grill is a microcosm. Fats from Miyazaki beef drip into the grill, and rile up flames and smoke. The smoke in turn gives the beef a nice aroma, and the smoke is immediately absorbed by the holes at the side of the grill. No smell on our clothes at all. Amazing ventilation.
One major factor that added to my enjoyment was the wonderful red wine, 2011 Muga Rioja. So smooth, so easy to drink, and goes exceeding well with the beef. Although I drink wine often, I don’t mention their names on the blog, so you can see how much I like this bottle.
After the meal, I had a pregnant and warm belly but I was greedy for more. I wanted to try other restaurants:
–Senmi Sushi Bar (want to try)
–Tsukeru shabu shabu (not interested)
–Burosu ramen and gyoza (heard it’s good!)
–Kohi-Koji cafe and bakery (not interested)
–Takujo fine dining (on the fence)
–Umi+Vino cold seafood wine bar (want to try!)
So I’ll definitely return for at least 3 more times!
Gyuu Yakiniku Grill @ Emporium Shokuhin
6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-18 Marina Square, Singapore 039594
T: +65 6224 3433 (for Gyuu)/ +65 6221 4333 (supermarket)
Gyuu: 11.30am–3pm, 6pm–10pm
Supermarket: 11:30 am-9pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
This is an invited tasting.