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Vancouver’s new premiere grill-it-yourself hot spot

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

Enjoy the do-it-yourself fun of Shabusen, but worry that your friends with dietary restrictions like vegetarianism or a gluten allergy wouldn’t be able to join you? For those of you out there looking to accommodate friends or family that need a little more, there’s Gyu-Kaku!

There’s nothing particularly unique or stand-out about the atmosphere of either location. Both feature relatively standard Japanese restaurant décor—dark paneling, and an open look into the kitchen through service windows. The main draw here is definitely the food.

The staff is friendly, and more than willing to explain the cooking process to newcomers, which is good, especially when it comes to grilling the meat. Everything is pre-measured and cut so that cooking it is as easy as possible. The restaurant even provides a choice of sauces to add a little flavour during the grilling process. Featuring a menu that runs the gamut of pork, beef, chicken, and seafood, it’s obvious that their goal is to appease as many appetites as possible. And for my vegetarian friends, don’t worry, Gyu-Kaku also features an incredible array of grillable vegetarian options, e from mushrooms to eggplants, so no need to feel left out!

Worried that you might exhaust your appetite for Asian BBQ? Well, don’t be. Even if the idea of course after delicious course of DIY isn’t to your liking, Gyu-Kaku also features a full kitchen menu that you can order off of, including my personal favourite, cheese wontons!

All of that is good, but by far my favourite thing about this restaurant is that they have pre-constructed meals to cater to groups of two or more. These meals come with a little something for everyone, so there’s no unnecessary arguing about what and how many to get. That makes these meals the perfect solution for the indecisive, like me.

Located right in downtown Vancouver at 888 Nelson Street, and also at 201 West Broadway, this BBQ place is always packed, so reservations are a must. Both locations feature minimal seating, instead favoring large tables to accommodate the massive grill. Despite the table size, the seating itself is not communal, so space is limited.