Black, apparently, is in again. Black cattle in the form of delicately marbled Wagyu and delectable portions of Black Angus is in the limelight at Rengaya Japanese Steak and BBQ restaurant, located at Chijmes, Singapore. The recently opened Japanese BBQ restaurant sports low-key mood lighting and several plush booth seats, perfect for getting in the mood for a carnivorous feast with your best friends.
Although the menu sports some fine fish and seafood items, the main catch are the crimson cuts of wagyu and other forms of beef that run the laundry list from a Venetian carpaccio (but called Beef tataki on the menu) to more Chosen-orientated picks such as kimchi beef noodles and bean paste condiments. This fine establishment is THE place for the beef lover. Being extremely fond of a tasty chunk of red meat, I loved the place so much so let me count the ways I love Rengaya.
1. Japanese Beef Tataki
What’s an Italian dish doing in a Japanese restaurant, I asked. To which, I was directed to the other beef dishes that originated from outside the Easterly Islands, like the Korean and American flavoured options. If you’re hesitant about pairing beef with more beef and running the risk of an overdose, that’s simply a non issue. The beef tataki (S$14.90) is refreshing, with a tinge of zest from the myoga ginger. Served cold with fried garlic on the side, it was a light dish with interesting textures that opened up the palate for the main event.
2. Ika Yuzu Jelly Watercress Salad
Beat back that guilty conscience from neglecting your greens with the invigorating citrus flavour of yuzu and the umami of raw squid. From here on, the heavy stuff was left to be served, so I was pretty pleased I had a portion of the Ika Yuzu Jelly Watercress Salad (S$12.90); it certainly did keep the bloated feeling of excessive meat consumption at bay.
3. Renga-Ya BBQ Platter
Forget the bits of leeks and shiitake on the side, and the accompaniment side plate of lettuce leaves – they are feeble attempts to assuage your dietary concerns. The pièce de résistance of the Renga-Ya BBQ Platter (S$89 for 300g) was the beautifully marbled Kagoshima and Hokkaido beef. Aside from being cut a different shape, the two can be differentiated by subtle variations of texture and taste. To me, the Hokkaido beef is juicer and more succulent but, the Kagoshima beef has a more robust, richer flavour.
4. Whole Squid and Oysters
Definitely overdoing it but to add a little variety to the meat platter, the tasty grilled Whole Squid (S$12.90) and tender oysters (S$12.90) are perfect accompaniments.
5. Strawberry Snow
The best way to settle a stomach that’s fully laden with the best beef in the world is with some of the world’s best strawberries. Straight from Hokkaido, the Strawberry Snow (S$10) is the place in a dish. Everything comes straight from the region and tastes every bit as good as it is renowned for. The icy treat mixes generous shavings of Hokkaido strawberries with milk and ice. Fresh, fragrant and sweet, you’d be hard pressed to suppress images of walking in strawberry fields while chomping down on this one.
An apt ending too, as you’d probably want to walk this hearty dinner off afterwards.
Rengaya Japanese Steak and BBQ
30 Victoria Street
Tel: +65 6352 1966