If you’re in for a textbook masculine meal, look no further than SmokeHouse Charcoal BBQ. The first of its kind in Singapore, SmokeHouse is a DIY Japanese BBQ and retail restaurant. This Japanese retail-cum-dining restaurant is the brainchild of award-winning master chef of Kuriya Dining, Tsuzuki Naoki.
SmokeHouse’s DIY concept allows customers the joy of barbecuing their own meat. Call me a child, but I got a real kick out of cooking my own meat. This concept also allows you to cook your meat to your preference, but let’s be real here, the novelty of barbecuing your own meat will always outshine other reasons. Unless, of course, that reason is “being relieved of an additional service charge”, then perhaps not. Living up to its title of ‘unique’, an impressive showcase of charcoals from all over Asia graces the restaurant’s entrance. Upon walking in, you discover a devilishly dapper retail section, which boasts an array of authentic Japanese merchandise.
Credit: The Asia Media Singapore
What caught my eye was what I’d like to call a meat-lover’s haven.
Fresh cuts of rare, premium meats arranged pristinely greet you when you walk in. At least, that was what I was greeted with since I made a beeline for the meats. How could I not, with hard-to-find cut meat parts of Japanese Wagyu beef, like the chuck flap and flank steak. The meats are sold in pieces so customers can enjoy their favourite meats in their desired quantity.
For those who aren’t huge fans of beef, there is a selection of pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, delicatessen (cooked food like grilled fish) and souzai (Japanese sides). Of course, there’s also a huge range of your favourite soft drinks, wines, beers, shochu and sake to complement your meal.
Upon paying the cover charge of $8 to $10 per pax, dine-in customers get to enjoy a free flow of soups, rice and salads in addition to their meats (which will cost an additional, substantial amount of money). See, that’s why we don’t start cooking right after we select our meats, because there’s a salad bar just a little of the way in.
Here, you can choose some sauces to go with your meats. Personally, I prefer the sweeter and tangier soy sauce flavoured house BBQ sauce over the salt flavoured one. One of the staff members recommended we marinade the meats in the sauce before grilling it, and boy did that hit the spot.
If you’re worried about the smoky smell lingering in your clothes or hair, fret not, since the tables here come with retractable exhaust ducts. I mean, you can’t get rid of the smell completely, but it’s minimised a whole bunch.
We tried the various small cuts, including the Japanese Wagyu chuck eye log (a personal favourite), and the Zabuton chuck flap (Chef Naoki’s personal favourite), all of which were tender and incredibly juicy. The very smell of the pieces of beef on the hotplate and the sounds of the sizzling meat were so incredibly tantalising, we had started salivating already. Then we bit into our first piece of meat, the rib cap, and we were instantly won over.
Trust me when I say that the meat just got better and better with every other piece we tried. I haven’t had beef so flavourful and succulent in my life, and let me tell you, there was some serious magic going on in there. Be prepared to be left shell-shocked by the outstanding, incomparable quality of the cuts of meat here. Man, I never thought I’d actually fall in love with meat, but of course I have.
SmokeHouse may provide customers with a top-notch dining experience, but what made this place even better was its takeaway service. All the delectable meats and sauces are also available for takeaway. If you truly want to bring the excellent dining experience home, you can! SmokeHouse prides itself in being a one-stop solution for your barbecuing needs.
We managed to squeeze in a quick chat with Chef Naoki who said that he came up with the concept for the restaurant after being unable to find something tasty or interesting during his time here.
He also hopes to give customers a brand new dining experience with the buffet spread butcher’s corner and the takeaway counter.
We commend Chef Naoki for spearheading such a fine establishment.
As for now, we can only that hope Chef Naoki will be quoted saying something great about SmokeHouse like, “Tell your boyfriend I’ve got beef, too.” Honestly, I’m a little gutted he hasn’t taken the opportunity to say that.
SmokeHouse Charcoal BBQ
Location: Great World City #01-37, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Tel: 6235 2185
* Reservations can be made only for 12pm and 6pm bookings. (Other timings will be on a first-come first-serve basis.)
This was an invited tasting.