Yakiniku Hiro BBQ
Multiple locations throughout Kyoto
After plenty of sushi, noodles, and curry pans, I was looking forward to some grilled meats. There wasn’t any great consensus as to the best yakiniku in Tokyo or Kyoto for that matter, but I decided on Hiro. The place was pretty full for a weeknight, so maybe it was a good idea we made a reservation. We debated whether we should be lazy and get the omakase for 2 or choose our own meats. We opted for the latter.
3 Kind of Korean Pickles
I’m always a little miffed I have to order and pay for something that is free and unlimited at Korean BBQ places, but this is just the way with yakiniku. I really needed the pickles to balance out the very flavorful meat.
I really love this dish and it was good, but have never had a better version than at Totoraku.
We weren’t sure what “thigh” meant but after tasting how chewy it was, we presumed it might have been shank meat? It was seasoned with just salt and pepper. They were quite heavy with the pepper. Despite being a tad chewy, I still liked it.
The tongue was excellent, especially with a light squeeze of lemon. The pepper was, again, too much.
The meat started to get good with this selection. Again, not sure exactly what cut “back” refers to, but this had plenty of delicious fat. This was also lightly marinated so no more of that distracting over pepperiness. It was excellent.
For some reasons I associate sirloin with a lean cut of meat. This was even fattier than the last course. Like a beefy fatty meat cube. YUMS!
Wagyu Rib Roast
The rib roast came in 3 price tiers. We decided to go with the middle selection. The previous beef cuts were marbled well, but the distinction between meat and fat was quite apparent in the raw state. This rib roast just pink throughout and it was hard to tell what was fat or what was meat. It didn’t matter, because in the end it was just DAMN GREAT BEEF. So YUMS for sure!!!
I wasn’t totally stuffed at this point, but I did want to see what their version of kalbi was all about. It came in this cute little pot.
A good chunk of it was just fat, which we had to trim off. It was extremely tender, juicy, flavorful. A great choice, but I would order 2 rib roasts and skip this next time.
Hiro Special Pudding
The waitress was unable to explain to us what was meant by “special pudding.” I threw out all sorts of foods like custard and panna cotta but none rang a bell. Those Japanese don’t speak English, but they certainly understand it. It turned out to be a coconut pudding. It was OK, but I am not a huge coconut person.
Matcha Ice Cream
The ice cream was very delicate, just like the previous ice creams we tried.
Hiro BBQ was some fantastic yakiniku. What’s even better was the price! For an equivalent place back home, I could easily pay the same amount for lower quality meat and not feel as full. Maybe there is better yakiniku in Kyoto or even Tokyo, but we were very satisfied with our meal here and had no complaints. And so that ends the amazing food journey I took through Japan. I was happy to end our food tour of Japan on a solid note.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here