Samgyupsal and yakiniku buffets have sprouted everywhere in the metropolis, most featuring cute pigs and cows as mascots, and some even giving free roses to customers―romantic!
But in a quiet neighborhood in West Fairview, an oddly named restaurant combines the best of both worlds―a Japanese yakiniku buffet in a Korean samgyupsal grill setting.
“Filipinos have long loved Japanese food. Now, Korean grill is the trend. We thought of combining the two concepts and came up with Wrong Yakiniku,” said 33-year-old Kurt Cortuna.
Cortuna teamed up with his childhood friend, 30-year-old chef Ron Ramirez, in setting up the restaurant that features state-of-the-art charcoal grill and freshly cut meat.
“The biggest difference between Japanese yakiniku and Korean samgyupsal is that yakiniku meat is not marinated. That is how confident we are of the freshness and quality of our meat―they are cut fresh every time you order, and there is no marinade to mask the color of the meat,” said Ramirez.
Here are some unique features of Wrong Yakiniku:
• There’s a buffet spread for the appetizers, including various kinds of Japanese maki, sushi, and temaki;
• They serve soju and sake, as well as mango Yakult, for a separate price;
• Their unli-cheese is not your regular melt-your-cheddar-cheese-on-the-grill type. It is a combination of four cheeses, including mozzarella, which gives it an almost Italian vibe; and
• The premium buffet set (P599) already includes meat-all-you-can and unlimited servings of salmon sashimi, ebi tempura, pork ramen, yakiniku skewers, kimchi, tteokbokki, fish cake, japchae, udon, and gyeran jjim, among others.
“We are the first restaurant to offer such a concept,” said Ramirez, who also runs a Japanese restaurant, Hiromitsu, in Pandi, Bulacan.
This early, the two young entrepreneurs are eyeing the possibility of doing franchising, noting how they expect to recover their investment in the restaurant within six months from their August opening.
“Franchising is an option for us,” said Cortuna.
Future partners may opt for an all-in package worth P8 million, which Cortuna described as “the complete deal―we will look for the place, set up the restaurant, do the training for the staff―literally, ribbon cutting na lang ang kulang.”
For those who are willing to build the brick-and-mortar themselves and would just like to franchise the name and avail of the training, they can fork out a lesser amount of P2 million.
“Our customers are mostly returning ones. I guess we did something right, despite of ‘wrong’ name,” added Ramirez.
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