Thai- and Japanese-inspired yakiniku restaurant Yak Kin in Jalan Riang is the neighbourhood barbecue restaurant we all need.
Can’t decide between Thai mookata, Korean BBQ, or Japanese yakiniku? Yak Kin may just be your answer. The barbecue restaurant, located in the upscale suburban Serangoon residential neighbourhood of Jalan Riang, offers a curiously fun hybrid barbecue that combines influences from various different Asian cuisines and barbecue styles.
Once you finally find your way through the maze of private houses to get there, that is. Decor-wise, Yak Kin wouldn’t look out of place along Tanjong Pagar Road (what Singaporeans affectionately call our Little Korea) with its naked terracotta walls and gleaming barbecue vents hanging over every table. There’s a little touch of Osaka izakaya too, with its wood accents and cosy yet casual ambience.
But we’re here for barbecue. Like most Asian barbecue restaurants, the best value is found in set platters, specially curated to showcase their preferred cuts of meat. Each platter at Yak Kin feeds about two to three adults; the Buta Set Platter, with its cuts of thick bacon steak, pork jowl, pork collar, and Thai-style marinated pork neck, will please those with porcine desires. Those who love their beef should go for the Gyu Set Platter, which offers beef short plate, outside skirt, short rib, and ribeye. There’s also the Gyu & Buta Set Platter for equal opportunity carnivores like me.
The marinade game here is strong. The flavours infused into the Moo Ping (Thai-style pork satay) and Thai-style Marinated Chicken Boneless Leg – both a la carte options – are excellent.
Curiously there’s no all-seafood platter. So you pick a la carte from the menu, such as the extremely plump sashimi-grade Kaki (oysters), Hotate (scallops), Suzuki (seabass), and more. We also recommend the Surume Ika, as the tendrils of the Japanese flying squid will crisp up beautifully over the fire, while the body remains tender.
Need something to refresh the palate? Order the Yam Mamaung (Thai-style mango salad) or the Ice Plant Salad, the latter featuring the crunchy crystal vegetables tossed in a sesame-based dressing.
For those who need to wash down their meals with alcohol, it’s hard to argue with Yak Kin’s S$10++ whisky highballs or S$12++ pints of beer. Yak Kin regularly holds special promotions for seasonal sakes as well.
For lunch, Yak Kin offers up a variety of affordable rice bowls. If we lived in the area, we’d totally pop out for a Moo Ping Donburi or Thick Bacon Steak Donburi during our work-from-home lunch break.
Or simply drop in with family for dinner at the end of the day.
Oh yes. Yak Kin runs regular daily specials, such as 50% off prawns on ‘Prawn Mondays’, one-for-one Japanese Wagyu A5 Ribeye Yakiniku on Wagyu Wednesdays, or S$3 oysters on Thursdays. So plan your visit accordingly.
[Photos courtesy of Superadrianme]
Address 15 Jalan Riang, Singapore 358987 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 12pm to 11pm daily
Tel (65) 8769 3788
Reservations book here