Gyubee Japanese BBQ - Markham

Gyubee is located at 7100 Woodbine, north of Steeles at Idema Road in Markham, a municipality bordering Toronto's central to eastern area on the north. Gyubee is located in an office building with only a small sign over the door, and so is not easy to find, but was very full and there was a wait of 25 minutes or more as they will not take reservations for less than six diners. I recommend to get there right at noon to avoid the wait. Gyubee's Markham location has a more Japanese interior than the downtown one, with wood-frame lattice around the tables. We waited in the storage area with well over a hundred boxes of disposable chopsticks, which I found to be a sad waste, thus I continue to bring my own. Tea is $1, pop $3, both AYCD.

Umami bean sprouts were awesome. Kimchi was excellent, spicy, no odor. Cabbage salad was awesome and wonderful and unique among all the AYCEs we have been to. Miso soup was perfect, super-savory. Cold tofu has awesome sauce and was wonderful. And kudos to the consistency: every one of these items, plus all the grilled meats to follow, were indistinguishable from the ones at the downtown Toronto Gyubee. However, there was one item that was not: the bibimbap was not as good as the downtown Toronto location. Both Mishy and I noticed and commented on it immediately. It was still OK and edible of course.

On to the grilled items, beef was superb as was well-marinated. We both loved the grilled chicken. House marinated Kalbi short ribs were excellent. White mushrooms were excellent when grilled. Sausages were excellent even when burnt (which I did…)

To expand on that, Mishy was not pleased that many of the items that we cooked ended up burnt, but I can't blame anyone else as we were doing the cooking. The grills at this location seem to run a little hotter than the ones downtown; I know they are different as the ones downtown have a back-and-forth slider temperature control; whereas these have a rotating dial. So if you are getting "burnt offerings" ask your server ASAP to turn down the heat.

For dessert honeydew and coconut melona bars are the only options available with one permitted per diner. Weekday lunch was $20.99, with an included 12% service charge. Other than the charred remains, we had a very enjoyable lunch at Gyubee and as every item was similarly good to the downtown Toronto location with the one bibimbap exception, our rating will reflect this.

Rating: 8.5/10