I love Japanese and Korean barbeque places. Sometimes you want to just cook the meat how you like it, and cook lots of it.
Taisho opened a Zetland branch just under two months ago, and boy that was exciting. I first dined here a few weeks after they’d opened with my partner and two friends. On my second trip to Taisho I decided to do the buffet menu with VP, the advantage being that we could have more of the sashimi and seafood. Well, VP could, at least.
The price is $78 per adult, which is a little more expensive than the well-known Suminoya in Martin Place, however I think with more endless drinks (a selection of coke, coke zero, calpis water and plain water) and the array of sides you can get from here it’s well worth the money. The usual JBBQ rules apply: you have 90 minutes from your first order, with 60 minutes to order before you have to finish what you got, or pay an extra 10 bucks. True to most Japanese All-You-Can-Eat places and ones where you repetitively order, this is done via iPad. They hadn’t yet set up the iPad per table, but many waiters were wandering around ready to help you order everything off the menu.
I really like their use of space here. They’ve kept the decor to the minimum, yet left it stylish and made use of the high ceiling to add a second level. The seating upstairs is booth seating, while downstairs boasts a mix of stools and benches depending on where your table is located.
But I’m not here to talk about the decor.
First up is the sashimi. You can get salmon, tuna, kingfish and surf clam here, and a sizeable portion You’re also given tamari and wasabi, in addition to the sauce and salt and pepper each person is offered at the table. It’s not too fishy and the sashimi was rather tasty.
The meat here is primarily beef, with some chicken and duck cuts as well as your seafood of choice. The beef cuts vary in marinade – the short rib was probably my favourite, next to the skirt and oyster blade due to a good coating of marinade and the sheer size of the cuts. The beef-tongue was probably the most disappointing for those I’d been with due to the thickness of the slices – but since I’m not a fan of tongue to begin with, this barely affected me.
The other usual raw foods are on offer here – buttered garlic, buttered corn, onions, pumpkin, mushrooms… you name it. Just order it and whack it over the gas fire. I also appreciate that they don’t force extra charges for replacing the grill – not that you should need to, given the ventilation and the distance between the grill and the built-in gas burner.
VP loves her seafood, so she also ordered the scallops and oysters, and threw those on as well. I’m not a huge fan of these, but she was pleasantly surprised by the cheese on the oysters and scallops. After all, they say everything is better with melted cheese.
And if you’d like some variety, you can also order some chicken or tako karaage, agedashi tofu, lotus chips, edamame, various rice and sushi rolls… even hot potato chips! We weren’t exactly here to get chips, but the lotus root and agedashi was delicious, especially with that generous helping of shaved bonito over the top.
If you’re insane enough to not partake in Japanese BBQ in a Yakiniku restaurant, you can also choose to go a la carte. Of course, we were here for barbequeing our own meat, so after ordering more beef cuts before the dessert, which was a choice of black sesame, green tea or vanilla ice cream (or all of the above!)
The ice cream was rather well presented as well. How did they know red bean was my weakness?
Suffice to say, I didn’t really need to eat much food after this for a few days. For short of 80 bucks a person, you definitely eat more than your share of food here within the 90 minute time limit.
Taisho have other branches in Mascot (an a la carte restaurant) and a Ramen place coming soon, but for now get your grill on in Zetland. I should note that right now, most of the contact and menu details on their website is relevant to Mascot, so you should also check out their Facebook Page for any specials.
Taisho Japanese BBQ
- Where: 2-4 Defries Ave, Zetland
- Ph: (02) 9056 2772
- Hours: 10:30am – 9:30pm every day
- Website: https://www.taisho.com.au/