Wagyu Japanese BBQ


Written by Ian Jayne in the June 2018 Issue

Wagyu Japanese BBQ


Wagyu Japanese BBQ 

Wagyu Japanese BBQ opened in December 2017, but it’s already revolutionized the lunch or dinner table. At Wagyu, tables are outfitted with high-tech, ventilated grills perfect for cooking everything from bell peppers to the delicious cuts of extra-marbled, flavorful beef for which it’s named. 

Unlike hibachi restaurants, Wagyu highlights the Japanese practice of yakiniku, or grilling food at the table. “It’s a unique dining experience,” said Jade Chen, who co-owns Wagyu Japanese BBQ with her husband Li. The tapas-style course options include cuts of Wagyu or Angus prime beef, as well as chicken, duck and seafood. Vegetarians rejoice, because Wagyu also offers a mushroom medley, kabocha (Japanese sweet squash), asparagus and more. Traditional Japanese dishes, such as ramen, are also available, as are salads, appetizers and desserts. 

“You just grill. We do all the hard work,” said Li Chen. All cuts of meat are trimmed, marinated and bite-size. 

At Wagyu, yakiniku offers the best of both worlds, as patrons can cook their food exactly to their desired levels of doneness while also enjoying good conversation and time with friends 

Wagyu might also introduce diners to new flavor profiles and new cuts of meat, such as cow tongue. Li said these cuts might intimidate people—until they try them. Part of the Chens’ mission is also dispelling myths about Wagyu beef being only an expensive delicacy.“We want to bring this culture in, and we want to introduce Wagyu to everybody,” Li said. 

Li and Jade first began working on what would become Wagyu Japanese BBQ about two years ago. They traveled frequently, and noticed that many coastal cities had yakiniku-style restaurants. They decided to bring the concept to Oklahoma, focusing on high-quality meats in an innovative and unique atmosphere. 

Over the following two years, the Chens researched diligently in order to realize their dream of owning their first restaurant. They spoke with chefs in Japan, contacted grill manufacturers and traveled to different cities in order to test out equipment, said Jade. 

The restaurant, located at 3000 W. Memorial Road, Suite 105, has all the sleekness of an upscale steak restaurant but without the stuffiness. Backlit wall décor evokes a blue-green-black mountain range, while the burnished brass grills set into the center of each table are focal without being obtrusive. 

Soon to come are even more specials, additions to the menu and alterations based on customer feedback.

Visit www.wagyujapanesebbqokc.com or 

call (405) 285-9796 for more information. 

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