3rd September 2015 update: This restaurant is now closed and looks like a sushi bar in the same location.
The Yaku Restaurant is just a few minute walk from the Prague Hilton (Old Town not Atrium) and Marriott Hotels. The restaurant concept is Yakiniku (a Japanese style of cooking bite-sized meat and vegetables on gridirons over a flame of wood charcoals) and they do this really well.
On arrival we were given a private ventilated locker (with key) in which we could hang our coats. The primary reason for this is so that any of the BBQ smells don’t end up permeating your coat, but it would also be handy if you had a laptop with you.
The main area of the restaurant is a long bar where customers sit and grill their meat – or watch while the chefs cook for you. There are also a few tables for two in the front and a couple of larger tables in the rear. But the best action is at the bar.
We sat at the bar and ordered a reasonably-priced Merlot (370Kc). We were having the ‘Thrill of the Grill’ tasting menu – a series of meat and fish cooked on the grill in front of us. This also included a ‘wakame sarada’ salad and kimchi (the classic Korean fermented vegetable side dish). I thought the kimchi was good, but maybe Koreans would like it more spicy and sour.
Our Hungarian/Italian waiter/chef was really friendly and helpful. We let him do all the cooking, but he explained what was coming up and where the best place was on the grill for different types of meat. Everything was absolutely delicious and grilled to perfection. The highlights included ‘Ribu Al’ a generous portion of ribeye steak and ‘Karubi’ boneless short ribs. If you feel like you are missing vegetables, then you can order some to be added to the grill. I think next time, I’ll order more kimchi as a side. I also saw people with rice, but we didn’t have room for that.
Pudding was a lovely ‘Ujikintoki’, home-made matcha green tea ice cream served with a dollop of sweet red beans.
A visit to the bathroom means passing the fire where they heat up the wood charcoal blocks. It’s quite dramatic to see, especially if the fire is being stoked at the time. The bathrooms were clean and nice, with added touches such as Listerine mouthwash and mini disposable cups.
There isn’t a formal website (yet) for Yaku – just a Facebook page. Yaku only opened in March 2013, but you can get the idea and see pictures from the Facebook page.
Yaku Japonské BBQ
Petrské náměstí 1664/5
110 00 Praha 1
+420 725 555 305