David Chang Wants To Go Back To Tokyo Just To Eat Jumbo Yakiniku

Have you ever tried something so delicious on a trip you couldn't wait to go back to taste it again? For celebrity chef and Momofuku Noodle Bar founder David Chang, that thing is A5 Wagyu strip loin from a restaurant called Jumbo Yakiniku in Tokyo, Japan. The meat is thinly sliced, marinated in Korean flavors, then folded up into a few layers after a short stint on the grill. And before you throw it in your mouth, it's dipped in egg yolk to temper the strong flavors of the marinade. "This is one of my favorite restaurants in the world, and this is arguably one of the very best bites of food you can have in [it]," Chang says in a TikTok video.

The Korean flavors in the restaurant's signature dish, Chang says, are used because yakiniku is Korean barbecue. The strip loin house specialty is grilled at your table for only about six seconds before you dip it in a side of egg yolk — or, as Chang puts it, "[T]hey just kiss it on the grill," creating different layers of texture.

The cream of the barbecue crop

The restaurant's fusion of Korean flavors and Japanese-style barbecue aka yakiniku (where meat is thinly sliced and grilled at high heat), may sound dissonant, but actually, the method was inspired by Korean immigrants who brought this method to Japan in the 20s in the form of bulgogi and galbi. The dish that won Chang's heart (aka the strip loin) is called Nohara-yaki, which is served sukiyaki-style — meaning it's paper thin, cooked at your table, and can be eaten as part of a Japanese-style hot pot. 


#duet with @navaporns #japan Jumbo yakiniku- how I miss this place so much. Can't wait to go back. One of the very best places to eat...so many great dishes here...this is their signature dish. But their beef rice is excellent. Banchan is great too. #a5wagyu #yakiniku #koreanbbq #delicious

♬ Cooking – Children's Music

The type of meat used is also what makes this dish stand out. Jumbo Yakiniku only serves A5 Black Wagyu meat, which is the highest rating possible for Japanese beef. This means that the Japanese Meat Grading Association has deemed the cut to be superior based on fat color, meat color, and percentage of intermuscular fat — what is commonly referred to as marbling — among other factors. In fact, the high fat content of this beef is why it only needs to be grilled for a few seconds, as it renders quickly and coats the muscle. If you're looking to try a first-rate meal that comes with a fun experience, you may want to head to Tokyo per Chang's recommendation.