Monday, May 6, 2013


Given a choice, i'd choose red meat over white meat any day. Ito-Kacho is a franchise from Japan that landed in Singapore, or to be more exact - Mandarin Gallery. Offering a wide variety of premium quality Wagyu, there is no reason why any beef lovers should miss this place.

At Ito-Kacho, all their fresh stocks flown in from US, Australia and Japan. They are chilled and not frozen to ensure that the meat quality stays at its best. They carry a wide range of Wagyu of different cuts, as well as seafood. If you are worried about smelling like barbecue after the meal, fret not as the barbecue method at Ito-Kacho ensures that you do not smell like barbecue beef after your meal using convection methods to keep the smoke from getting onto you.

To start off, we had an assortment of Kimchi. Also, we had the Ito-Kacho Salad which had fresh greens tossed generously in sesame dressing. Everyone agreed that the salad dressing was good, but the best part of the salad to me was the slices of crispy lotus roots which gave the salad a lot of texture and crunch.

The Dashimaki Tamago is a recommended dish at Ito-Kacho. Unlike the normal Tamago you get at your mainstream Japanese restaurants which are cold and slightly sweet, this one isn't. Instead, the omelette you get here is soft, fluffy and served warm. Accompanied by a special sauce and fresh radish, this simple dish wow-ed everyone (and myself) despite its simple presentation and ingredients used.

Moving on to the stars of the meal, we had the Wagyu Tongue which cooked on the grill within a minute. Accompanied by the specially concocted leek and salt sauce, the flavor of the tongue was wonderfully rich and deep.

If you are not adventurous enough to try the Waygu Tongue, settle for the Wagyu Platter, which has an array of premium cuts. We had the Toku-Jo-Bara (Short Ribs), Wagyu-Sasami (Flank Steak), Wagyu Kainomi (Flap Meat) and Wagyu Tomo-Bara. They all went very well with the in-house made barbecue sauce. Some cuts also go well with sea salt but i preferred the barbecue sauce over it. My favorite cut was the Wagyu Tomo-Bara which has the most fats - the slice of beef literally melted in my mouth. Of course, the rest of the cuts were equally succulent and meltingly good.

Although the Wagyu at Ito-Kacho is mind blowing good, the Tsubo-Zuke Kurobuta (Pork Collar) left to impress as well. The perfectly seasoned pork collar served in what looks like a jar sizzled and charred beautifully as soon as it hit the grill. The aftermath - juicy, flavorful and tender pork ready to be indulged into.

Apart from meat, Ito-Kacho also serves seafood. The King Crab-Yaki and the Grilled Tiger Prawns were very fresh. With a bit of sea salt and grilled, the prawns were extremely bouncy in texture and slightly firm with a slight hint of crunch. The crab on the other hand was also very sweet and fresh.

Arriving sizzling hot on the table, the Ishiyaki Sundubu Chige (Clam Soup) which has clams and a lot of mushrooms and tofu in it was bursting with flavors. The Ishiyaki Bibimbap with nice charred bits of rice (from the hot stone bowl) was also very delicious.

No prizes for guessing what dessert was. Like in most Japanese restaurants - Mochi. This time served with ice cream flavors like Kuri (Chestnut), which had little bits of chestnut in it and Kurogoma (Black Sesame), it was really a perfect ending to the meal.

While prices may not exactly be that pocket friendly at Ito-Kacho, one thing's for sure - you are paying for quality and not quantity. And if you ask me if the food and service is worth your money, i'll tell you without a doubt yes. So much to the extent i am thinking when i should come back for the Tsubo-Zuke Kurobuto. Go ahead, salivate.

333A Orchard Road
Mandarin Gallery, #04-08/09/10
Singapore 238897
+65 6836 0111

This was an invited media tasting.

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