Gyu-Kaku, the global Japanese barbecue chain, opened its first Austin location at Plaza Saltillo on 901 East Fifth Street in East Austin as of Monday, August 17. Currently, the restaurant is operating under limited dine-in service only because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The main focus of Gyu-Kaku is yakiniku (Japanese for “grilled meat”). And, yes, customers will still be able to cook their own meats at their tables, making use of the “smokeless roaster” grills that draw smoke away from the seating.
The current menu is described as a limited one, but it is still pretty substantial. This includes barbecue meats such as short ribs, bsteaks, pork belly, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables, as well as an assortment of bibimbap, noodles, dumplings, and chicken wings. There are also sharable package deals, ranging from the two-person happy hour to the expansive Yakiniku for four people.
Reservations are required for dine-in services, and there is no takeout option currently. The other Texas locations in Dallas and Houston are offering takeout and delivery through Uber Eats though, so presumably, the Austin location will feature a to-go program at some point. Its daily hours begin at 5 p.m., with final seatings at 9:30 p.m.
As part of its COVID-19 safety regulations, the restaurant is socially distancing its tables and seatings, as well as limiting party sizes. Guests will have their temperatures checked before entering the space, and are required to wear masks.
The name of the restaurant is Japanese for “horn of the bull.” There are 700 locations across the world, with plans to open more Austin ones too.
Other Plaza Saltillo neighbors include Whole Foods Market, gelato shop Dolce Neve, JuiceLand, and brunch chain Snooze. Forthcoming are Hopdoddy Burger Bar, the Kebab Shop (which has already opened in the Arboretum), and Poke Austin.
Note: Currently, Gyu-Kaku is only open for dine-in service, and there are still safety concerns surrounding indoor dining in Austin. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the City of Austin website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
- Gyu-Kaku Austin [Official]
- Gyu-Kaku Austin [Facebook]
- Grill-It-Yourself Japanese Barbecue Chain Is Opening Its First Austin Restaurant [EATX]
- All Coverage of Gyu-Kaku [EATX]