January 30, 2023

It’s a charcoal grill to cook the fresh meats and fish on and no smoke to boot. That’s what to expect at the Tajimaya Yakiniku eat-all-you can grill. Unlike the Korean gas grills, there is no pork in this side of town.

A little search said that Tajimaya is a name that means passionate, driven, extravagant, and friendly. Yakiniku means grilled meat. This gives me a Japanese name for a baby and a Japanese term for barbecue. So, you should expect the best beef, sausage and seafoods to be the ingredients served for you to personally grill.

The grill is what the restaurant is all about. The charcoal is in neat metal cases that have lids as they are set in the center of the table. When the lid is removed, live charcoal bricks under a metal mesh are ready for you to grill the meat as you please. I am one who likes crisp meats and nicely browned sausages. I guess there was two of us who liked the same texture in food. The charcoal grill is replaced if you’re on your third set of meat and seafoods to grill to keep the heat at its best cooking temperature.

The merry mix of U.S. beef, Tajimaya sausage, salmon belly, and squid were served that day. On the side were lettuce, side dishes of bean sprouts and Tajimaya special kimchi and rice. This is how the Japanese balanced diet looks like even if you can have your fill of it.

There is something flavorful in quality U.S. beef. The scent, texture and flavor are consistent. The fatty strip of beef meat is tender when grilled in a few seconds on charcoal. I guess it is the fat marbled in with meat that makes Kobe beef and wagyu a marvel for the palate. But I liked my meat chewy and crisp in bite sizes.

The Tajimaya sausage is confusing to the taste buds. It remains tender and sweet even if you brown it. It feels like you’re enjoying pork sausage but not quite. There seem to be ingredients mixed with the meat that you have never encountered in the various sausages from different parts of the world. This is unique to this group of restaurants. Also, served in bite sizes when grilled. This is nothing less than delicious.

Salmon belly melts in your mouth when cooked this way. The milky velvet pink meat will make salmon lovers ask for more of this seafood to grill. Even if it overstays in the heat, the texture won’t change and flavor still smooth.

Squid comes in white squares. The amazing thing about this kind of squid when grilled is that it stays soft and doesn’t get chewy like gum. They really should be eaten quickly after you pluck them out of the grill.

This fare is best with the lettuce as a palate cleaner or fat neutralizer, the Tajimaya kimchi that comes in neat spicy strips for a little chili and the zesty sauteed bean sprouts that burst in the mouth.  The Tajimaya sauce isn’t like anything you expect in Asian soy sauce blends but it pairs off excellently well with all the meats if you like a little more salt.

This experience is not for the samgyupsal addicts because this will definitely disappoint pork meat lovers and those who have developed the taste for the Korean side dishes. Tajimaya Yakiniku grill is its own class and experience.

Discover the outdoor lift for the disabled and differently abled to bring you to the restaurant level. The friendly security guards will be at your service to make sure you get a brief view of the Military Cut-off vista.

Another Baguio restaurant to experience and enjoy with its flavors inspired by Japan.