Riki Yakiniku Dining Bar, Orchid Plaza, Cairns

We’d been eyeing this yakiniku place since the first day, but thought it would be too heavy a dinner after our daily breakfast buffet and lunch. Today we’d been out snorkelling for a couple of hours, and that sort of maybe justifies eating yakiniku? Yes? Yes!

I already told you Orchid Plaza was very much little Japan/Asia when we first came here, so it didn’t completely surprise me when the Japanese staff spoke Japanese to the Asian me when we walked in to Riki Yakiniku Dining Bar upstairs. We were told that the charcoal grill, as opposed to electric, cost an extra $5, but if you’re doing yakiniku, you ought to do it right!

We were the only ones having the barbecue this Tuesday night and had the whole yakiniku section to ourselves. There were actually barely any diners at the large restaurant tonight. I wonder if they survive by catering for Japanese tour groups or if this was just one of the rarer quieter nights.

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Charcoal
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Charcoal grill is $5 extra

Our niku to be yaki-ed gradually appeared after our charcoal grill and drinks!

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Tongue
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Tongue ($9)

We expected the beef tongue to come in the round cut as the photo on the menu, but otherwise we had nothing to complain about.

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Harami
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Harami ($7)
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Ribs
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Beef Ribs ($7)

The beef harami (meat around diaphragm) and beef ribs have the same seasoning that we both really loved, and I didn’t mind that the latter weren’t as fatty as they were on the menu photo. You could also get ribs on the bone for the same price of $7.

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Pork Neck
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Pork Neck

Speaking of fatty? Pork neck! We knew this was the one that would start a fire on the grill. I consumed it all without guilt because fat is back!

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Squid
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Squid ($8)

The last item we ordered was the squid. Richard, my grill master for the night, knew not to overcook this (or everything else for that matter), but the squid was unfortunately rather disappointing in flavour. Richard thought they could do more with the seasoning than what we could taste as just the soy sauce. I don’t have any suggestions, but I’m inclined to agree.

Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Our Table
Riki Yakiniku, Cairns: Our Table

I enjoyed the food and the quiet environment (probably only for tonight), but when we checked the bill, we discovered that the small pot of green tea was $2, not free. Oi, what’s up with that? I’m going to ask if green tea is free at all Japanese restaurants from now on. #cheapskate

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