The Beef Short-rib at Hakata Ramen in Montreal was a very nice fusion of Japanese and Korean culinary technique and worth a 4 out of 5 Rating.
This dish was listed in the appetizer section as ‘Japanese Beef Short-rib’ and was also described, in a rather unique fashion, as ‘Tenderous Ribs’. Hakata is primarily a Ramen restaurant, but it does many other dishes, some Japanese, some Korean, and a few, like the grilled ribs pictured above, which are represent fusions of the two cuisines.
The Korean aspect of this dish lay primarily in the fact that the ribs were butchered cross-wise to produce the ‘Flanken-cut’ strips that are especially popular in Korean BBQ restaurants. This style is used especially where patrons grill their own meats over a brazier at the table. I have actually discussed this cut a number of times, most notably in my recipe for Korean Sweet Grilled Beef Ribs, which illustrates these rib strips in their raw state, and also while being cooked.
In any event, the grilling job on these particular ribs was very good. The Flanken-cut strips are generally very thin, and it is difficult to grill them so as to allow for both charring, which adds flavor, and to have the flesh remain rare at the center. Hakata managed to achieve this very expertly and the result was very tender indeed.
The Japanese aspect of this dish is what suited my taste a little well. The glaze here was a very sugary Teriyaki style preparation that I found to be just a little too sweet. As it happened, though, the dish I had just before this was Gyoza and I still had the Soy Sauce and Vinegar dipping sauce on my table. I found that, on dipping the ribs into that sauce, the Vinegar helped balance out the rather excessive sweetness. Overall, I actually thought the Beef Short-rib appetizer at Hakata Ramen was pretty good, but, all-in-all I prefer my own.