Review: Yappari Steak brings a no-nonsense Okinawa steakhouse experience to VivoCity

By Gary Lim June 14, 2024
Review: Yappari Steak brings a no-nonsense Okinawa steakhouse experience to VivoCity
Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere
  • Japan’s popular Yappari Steak chain has opened its first Southeast Asia branch in VivoCity
  • It serves up 100% certified black angus cooked to your preference on signature lava stone plates made with lava from Mt. Fuji
  • Try the signature misuji cut, taramo salad, and perhaps an Orion beer while you’re at it

It’s no secret that Okinawans truly love their beef, proven by the sheer amount of specialty beef restaurants on the island from yakiniku and shabu shabu spots to  teppanyaki restaurants, burger joints, and Western style steakhouses. The latter two hark back to the time when Okinawa was still under US military administration. 

Some of these beef spots have been in operation for close to a century, and then there are the newer ones like Yappari Steak, which seemed to have sprung out from nowhere in 2015. 

Although it’s only been a few years since the brand first launched, Yappari steak quickly raised franchises one after another in quick succession. Today, it isn’t unsurprising to see a Yappari Steak every ten minutes or so, when driving around Okinawa, and you can also expect many more outlets across Japan.

What differentiates Yappari Steak from other steakhouses, so much that it’s now one of the largest steak chains in Japan? Let’s get into the meat of it, and its latest outpost in Singapore.

The backstory

yappari steak singapore
Yappari Steak’s menu is fairly simple with four different steak cuts and a variety of beefy and non-meat sides. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Yappari Steak might be new in Singapore, but it’s definitely made its mark in other countries apart from Japan — they have over 100 franchise outlets in Japan, starting from Okinawa, and have since expanded to Nepal, Australia, and now Singapore on the second floor of VivoCity.

Yappari steak singapore
Yappari Steak’s VivoCity spacious outlet, which comes decked with Japanese-style prints framed on the walls, can accommodate groups of two to eight. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

The nine-year-old brand was founded in Okinawa in 2015 with a simple concept: Black angus beef that’s quickly seared, and served on top of a sizzling signature stone plate that’s heated to 230°C. Oh, and did we mention, the stone plate’s made with lava from the iconic Mt. Fuji. 

The steak arrives with a brown crust, and is served red, still — you’ll have to slice up and cook each piece further to your liking. So whether you prefer it overcooked or undercooked, that’s entirely up to you — I think I can roll with that.

Our verdict

yappari steak singapore
Look no further for delicious and value-for-money steaks. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Yappari Steak is a solid choice for quick office lunches and dinner outings, though not so much for romantic dates unless you don’t mind leaving the place smelling like beef. 

Its very reasonable price range (which starts at just S$13.80 for a full steak fix with free-flow rice, egg drop soup, and salad) means you can eat very well and still get a proper bang for your buck. Plus, the large assortment of sauces and condiments, such as garlic soy sauce and wasabi relish, make for a more varied dining experience each time.

However, take heed: There might be a queue during lunch and dinner hours, so plan ahead and go hungry, ready to feast. 

Huge kudos, too, to the very approachable and helpful staff there for making the whole queuing and dining experience a breeze.

What it’s good for

yappari steak singapore
Yappari’s steaks are served on sizzling hot plates so you can control how you want your beef done. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

First off, the flagship Yappari steak that showcases the prized misuji (also known as top blade) cut from just under the cow’s shoulder blades, available in 3 sizes: 150g (S$19.80), 200g (S$23.80) and 300g (S$33.80). 

The misuji is a high-quality flavourful and tender cut that’s on the lean side, and so very juicy. We also understand that the steaks here are wet-aged in a special marinade for a consistently good steak every time — and trust us, it’s indeed good stuff.

Here’s a tip: Slicing the steak, when it first arrives at your table, helps you figure out exactly how done your steak is, before you further cook it on the hot plate.  

Once the beef reaches your desired doneness — don’t look away because they’ll cook really quickly — quickly move the slices to your bowl of rice and let the juices soak into the grains.

yappari steak singapore
Each steak portion comes with a free-flow of fluffy Japanese rice, cabbage slaw with sesame dressing, and a rather mild egg-drop soup. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

The misuji steak gives you great value in terms of quality for its cost, and makes for a quick power lunch steak option.

However, if you prefer something more premium, there’s the highly-marbled and buttery zabuton steak (from S$23.80 for 150g) or the nakaochi karubi steak (S$22.80 for 150g), a succulent and rich cut that’s a good balance between fat and meat.

yappari steak singapore
Try each sauce and condiment to see which one you like best. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Is there such a thing as too much sauce and condiments? Not really, not when it comes to the Japanese steak experience. 

I took my time to try out them all: The classic black pepper and Himalayan pink salt is a classic for steak purists, the onion soy sauce is subtle but pleasant, the thin teriyaki sauce could do with more complexity, while the somewhat-intense garlic sauce that’s also a bit sweet and salty was arguably my favourite sauce of the lot. 

There’s also some coarsely minced garlic and a wonderful wasabi relish that’ll wake you right up, as well as some furikake that’s better on the rice than beef. As for the chilli sauce and ketchup, maybe save them for the curly fries with mentai mayo (S$3.90) from the sides menu and nothing else.

yappari steak singapore
The beef tendon udon is homey and comforting. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Of course, Yappari Steak also offers non-hot plate dishes, from vegetarian curry rice (S$10.80) and garlic butter rice (S$6.80) to a delightful beef tendon udon (S$13.80). 

The cook on the beef tendon is splendid — it’s chewy yet tender with a collagenous melt-in-your-mouth feel. There’s a fair bit of meat with the tendon that’s soft and sweet with an umami soy sauce flavour. 

The beef sits in an aromatic and rather beefy dashi broth on top of some quality sanuki udon. The noodles are bouncy and chewy, though I notice they are quick to absorb the broth and become slightly mushy if left alone for a while.

yappari steak singapore
Yappari Steak makes one of the better taramo salads that I’ve eaten. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

Have you ever tried taramasalata, the Greek fish roe dip made with cured fish roe and a starchy base of bread or potatoes? The taramo salad (S$3.80) is Japan’s take on that, and a very popular one, too. 

You’ll find this tangy salad at a ready-to-eat section of many Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores, and it’s very simple and delicious, made with nothing but mentaiko (spicy salted cod roe), mashed potato, and Japanese mayo. 

You get a heaping scoop of the stuff here at Yappari Steak — it’s slightly creamy and full of umami with a spicy kick. For this price, it’s a steal, for sure.

yappari steak singapore
The Orion beer is Okinawa’s signature brew and makes for easy drinking. Photo: Gary Lim/HungryGoWhere

When it comes to beverages, is there a more Okinawan beer than Orion (S$5.80 for a 350ml can)? 

It may be one of the less popular Japanese beers in Singapore, compared to the likes of Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin, but I’ve always enjoyed its particularly fresh and crisp taste due to it being unpasteurised (not a common thing for canned beer). 

This dark-brown lager has a rich body with a supple taste of barley and an alluring sort of sweetness, and I find it particularly good for cleansing your palate for the next bite of beef.

What it could improve on

Better ventilation, perhaps. While a disposable apron is provided to prevent oil from splattering onto your clothes, unfortunately there isn’t much that you can do about the smell from the grill.

If the restaurant is particularly busy, it can also feel a bit smokey and stuffy, like you’re in a Korean barbecue restaurant.

But hey, if you’re willing to tolerate all of that for good meat, as I did, then this is water under the bridge.

Our quick takes

Is it conducive to conversation? Yes, though you might find your clothes smelling like steak if you stay too long to chat.

Is a reservation necessary? No reservations, walk-ins only, on a first come first served basis.

How to get there? Yappari Steak is located on the second floor of VivoCity, which sits right above Harbourfront station, near Lobby E. 


HungryGoWhere paid for its meal at this restaurant for this review.

For more food stories, check out the newly reopened Chagee, a premium tea brand that’s just returned to Singapore, and our take on the newest Coconut Club outlet at New Bahru.

Do explore the GrabFood Dine Out service for awesome deals.

You can also book a ride to Yappari Steak Singapore at VivoCity.

Yappari Steak Singapore

VivoCity, 02-110, 1 HarbourFront Walk
Nearest MRT station: Harbourfront 
Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 10pm)

VivoCity, 02-110, 1 HarbourFront Walk
Nearest MRT station: Harbourfront 
Open: Monday to Sunday (11am to 10pm)

Gary Lim-HungryGoWhere

Gary Lim


Gary eats and knows things, which he attributes to over 30 years of eating and drinking — surely that must count for something, he surmises. He was previously the deputy editor at City Nomads and content lead at Burpple.

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