Address: 1 Jln Anak Bukit, #B2-05, Singapore 588996
Opening Hours: Daily 10:30am – 10:00pm
Official Website: grillbycut.sg
I’ve been hesitating to review Grill by CUT, because I’m at odds with it. It is one of the restaurants that at first glance, you see the value in it. I’ve been looking for good for value, no fuss Sukiyaki set meals, the kind of traditional experience I enjoy at Asakusa Imahan in Tokyo. (Yes, 9 years later, the experience has left me awed.)
My 5000 yen Imahan sukiyaki. Groundbreaking.
I was ecstatic to see Grill by CUT serve simple sukiyaki set meals where you can choose between pork sukiyaki ($17.80), kurobuta, snow pork and even as far as the wagyu beef. These guys know their meat and even boast serving Satsuma A5 Gyu, a rarity even by Singapore standards.
But things began to nosedive as my sukiyaki pot simmers to a boil on a manual, wooden stove. My smile fades as the flames almost touched my nose and not a single waitstaff passed by to even assist me. How am I suppose to control the fire then? I wasn’t even given wet towels or water to douse it. I flagged down a waitstaff once, and a rude staff dragged the entire tray away from me in haste. Of course they explained they couldn’t adjust the fire because it was a manual pot. Alright sure, but I didn’t like the lack of grace and poise from handling the situation, because I was eating my chawanmushi.
Here’s proof of those flames, as huge as Vhagar’s fire. Roar.
@candidcuisine It's so hard to find traditional sukiyaki in SG without breaking the bank. good quality meat at this hidden butchery. if you like yakiniku, sukiyaki and wagyu donburis (and Satsuma Wagyu!!), Grill by CUT has it #sukiyaki #yakiniku #japanesefood #sgfoodie #wheretoeat #japanese #wagyu ♬ Japanglish Song – Octa Bella
Yes, nowadays, I do think restaurants need to double time when it comes to their customer service. It’s no longer an add on. It’s a must. And if Grill by CUT can’t change their attitude, it’s not going to end well for them… especially situated as a hidden gem inside Bukit Timah plaza. (Kind of reminds me of Omote, and my experience there was superb. Loved it on all angles.)
Nevertheless, I appreciate the sukiyaki set. At $17.80, you get niigata rice (or udon), chawanmushi, kimchi, miso soup, watermelon fruit and about 60g of thin pork sukiyaki. Don’t expect a lot from the set because it only has about 3.5 slices, hardly to fill you up, so you’re going to have to lean on the tofu, cabbages, and golden mushrooms in the sukiyaki. The broth isn’t as clean as Imahan, and the sweetness is borderline icky. But it suffices my cravings and I look forward to my next visit.
That said, I want to give them some breathing room to improve their service, so I’m unlikely to go back as quick as a big brown fox over a fence. The vouchers are useless on first visit unless they validate your account QR code. And so is that free $5.50 coffee at their butchery shop, if and only if the barista shows up. Their customer service defended this to me, but I’m not inclined to easily believe the excuse, because I rarely hear the coffee machine whir to life. Which brings me to my point that Grill by CUT is in a very soft soft launch-like state. Calling it soft launch would have softened the blow for me, but it seemed that they expected themselves to be fully operational too.
If I ever try out their highly raved wagyu bowls (and I saw them, they didn’t look legendary to me, but perhaps the power is in the meat), I’ll update this post. Until then, I look for my next favorite Japanese restaurant.
Meanwhile you can enjoy fresh meat from their butchery next door. They sell US ribeye steaks, Australian lamb racks, Bordier butter, yogurt (scream!), and steak sauces, mints and chimichurris. I’m keeping an eye on this trend — restaurants slash butcheries — just like retail stores slash cafes. It’s getting interesting folks.