YUKI TSUKAMOTO, 29 BEEF YAKINIKU DINING YAKINIQUEST
At just 28 years old last year, chef Yuki Tsukamoto became head chef of Beef Yakiniku Dining Yakiniquest, a restaurant at Boat Quay specialising in premium yakiniku or grilled meat. His previous experience as sous chef at Ginza Yakiniku Horumon Gyuya Ginbee, a Yakiniku restaurant located in Ginza, Tokyo was valued by managing director Suguru Ishida. The latter is one of the founders behind yakiniquest.com, a website providing information and trusted reviews on yakiniku restaurants in Japan. With his wide network of wagyu farmers and deep knowledge of yakiniku techniques, Ishida had opened Beef Yakiniku Dining Yakiniquest in Singapore in 2015 to present diners with the best yakiniku experience.
Chef Tsukamoto shares that being a young head chef is not that common in Japan because of its deep-rooted seniority system. He knows of chefs who have worked for more than 15 years and are still chef de parties. But the situation is changing nowadays with customers paying more attention to the chef who made the dish, and not just the dish. This can only give more opportunities to young chefs like him.
Helming the kitchen, he remains grounded and regards himself still perfecting the art of serving the ultimate wagyu beef. He says, “To be a good wagyu chef, what you need to learn is trimming, cutting, seasoning, grilling, etc. They may sound easy but each and every technique is very profound. Two to three years are not enough to master them all. I am currently focused on learning the art of grilling.” He is also exploring how he can derive subtle changes in one dish by using different cuts of wagyu beef, such as in a bouillon or beef stock. Beef Yakiniku Dining Yakiniquest’s omakase menu features three grilled meat mains and on its a la carte menu, chef Tsukamoto prepares a range of wagyu dishes such as raw wagyu sliced thinly like somen noodles, boiled wagyu heart with ponzu, salt-seasoned tongue and eye of knuckle.