Maru

Maru is without a doubt one of the finest yakiniku bars on the island, and serves both top-quality beef from the mainland in addition to locally-sourced ‘Ishigaki gyuu’ (Ishigaki beef), which is prized throughout Japan.It is an establishment which ticks all the boxes in terms of what you’d expect from a good restaurant – friendly staff serving quality food and drinks in attractive surroundings.
 
Maru's staffMaru's owner (right). The chap on the left is very friendly, slightly nuts, and speaks basic English.
tableIngredients ready to be grilled. From the food to the decor everything is top-notch.

Yakiniku

yakinikuNo visit to Japan would be complete without sampling one of the nation’s most popular styles of cooking, ‘yakiniku’, which literally translates to ‘grilled meat’. Perhaps the main attraction of yakiniku is that you get to cook the ingredients yourself on what is best described as mini barbeque grills which are built into the tables. Not only can you see that your ingredients are fresh before you cook them, but the whole process can be a lot of fun. Vegetables are typically served with most meat dishes, although they can be ordered separately; they too are cooked on the grill.

Menu

Please note that the following list is in no way exhaustive. The last time we visited Maru one member of staff spoke basic English, and he may be able to help you if you have any specific requirements. Sometimes it may be difficult to gauge how much to order, and it is advisable to share dishes and order more if required during the meal.
 
Three cuts of Ishigaki beef (¥2600). Three different cuts of top quality beef, consisting of about 3 or 4 slices per cut. This is reasonably priced given that Ishigaki’s beef is among the most expensive in Japan.
 
Ready to be grilledFinest cuts of beef from both Ishigaki and mainland Japan ready for the grill.
 
Top quality beef platter (¥4280). This represents very good value and is more than enough food for one. In addition to rib and sirloin cuts of meat it also includes tongue, offal, a prize cut of beef, beef sashimi, and yukke (raw beef topped with egg yolk). Both the sashimi and the yukke should be eaten raw, hence, these dishes won’t meet all westerner’s tastes.
 
Shoulder cuts of Japanese ‘kurogewagyuu’(¥1300).  A plate of finest Japanese ‘black hair’ beef. Other cuts are also available. As with most top beef in Japan, the meat is infused with fat which gives it an almost butter like texture.
beefJapan's finest beef is infused with fat, which gives it a very soft texture.
vegetablesMeat isn't the only thing which is grilled - side dishes of vegetables are also available.
 

Ishigaki beef tongue (¥2000). A plate of fresh sliced tongue – typically over a dozen slices.
Nabe (880 Yen). Maru’s popular speciality nabe (Japanese hotpot) includes various vegetables, tofu, along with some offal.

Décor

Real thought has been put into the design of Maru’s interior. Bespoke paintings of which adorn the ceiling and walls draw influence from traditional works of art, while the use of deep reds and blacks make for a rather contemporary feel. It should be noted that some of the paintings on the ceiling tread a fine line between art and pornography, and if members of your party are likely to be offended then it may be advised to request a seat towards the rear of the restaurant. However, it should be said that the paintings seem to go down well with most customers.
 
boothPrivate booths are also available.
PaintingNot all will appreciate the artwork.

Location

ExteriorMaru is located about 5 minutes walk from the center of town, making it a little harder to find than restaurants positioned in the Misakichou area. However, its ground floor corner position makes it very easy to spot once you’re in the vicinity.
 
Maru is a popular restaurant amongst locals, any taxi driver will no doubt know its location.