I recently went to Yakiniku Futago, few blocks from Union Square and I was blown away: the food there is superb and there is a nice and relaxed atmosphere, all the ingredients for a great evening. The decor is beautiful, elegant and zen, with a noise level that was perfect considering that I like to enjoy a good conversation with a meal.
Food wise, it is mainly for meat lovers, but vegetarians can find few dishes. It is a steakhouse or a barbecue place, it depends how you want to interpret their concept that is very similar to Korean BBQ (or Japanese BBQ as a matter of fact). In fact, Yakiniku means to barbecue and each table has its own grill, like in Korean or Japanese BBQ places. However, I would call them a steakhouse considering the choices of meat they offer, from Japanese Wagyu to American USDA prime cuts. I got to sample quite a lot there, so here it is:
Edamame: ok, nothing extraordinary here, but probably the sole healthy dish of the evening...
Spicy Crispy ‘‘BON-CHOL” Fried Chicken: It was so good that we got a second order! The chicken was moist and the double frying made it heavenly crispy, smothered in a sauce that was not spicy at all.
Hot stone garlic rice: it was like a bibimbap with just rice and lots of garlic. Ok, garlic is known for being good for blood sugar and has various medicinal properties, and with this dish, you get a year of treatment for sure, as there is a lot of it. But, if you like garlic, you will love it, as I did.
Japanese Style Cold Noodle: very refreshing, I love the bite the noodles had.
For the main entree, I tried their wagyu deluxe sampler that was composed of 4 different cuts of Japanese wagyu beef: ribeye, tri tip, knuckles and kalbi (short rib). The meat came raw, beautifully presented in a wooden box, with some wasabi and vegetables. The marbling was sublime, especially on the ribeye that was my favorite cut with the knuckles. They were tender, juicy and try tasty. However, the kalbi was a bit tough. I cooked the meat for seconds to minutes, depending of the cut, on the grill that was in the middle of the table, rendering an amazing aroma as the meat cooked.
I also tried the Thickly Cut Special Filet Steak With Garlic, that was amazing: also very tender, juicy and tasty, it was accompanied by a delicious garlic sauce.
With the meal, some sake was welcome and I chose a Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo:
Last was dessert. I admit that the choices were not that mouth watering, although original. I tried their Sweet Potato Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream, that was just ok, nothing to rave for.
At that point, they brought some corn tea that was a nice way to finish the meal and hopefully help my digestion...
The meal at Yakinuku Futago was succulent: the meat there is delicious and the BBQ concept adds a bit of playfulness as long as you know how to cook the meat and do not overcook it...It is a nice place with a relaxed atmosphere, original for sure as far from the usual setting of a steakhouse. I definitely recommend it.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Yakiniku Futago - 317 W 17th Street, NY, NY 10011