Restaurants, Barbecue Azabu-Juban
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Frequent Tokyo visitor and businessman David Chuang was apparently dissatisfied with the lack of good American-style BBQ restaurants in our otherwise foodie-friendly city. So, naturally, he built his own. The result is DC BBQ, which opened near Azabu-Juban last December.

DC BBQ’s pride and joy is its barbecue pit, which is heated not with gas or electricity but good old-fashioned firewood. Convincing the authorities to allow the 600kg pit to even exist was apparently a challenge – the room it’s in had to be completely sealed off from the rest of the restaurant should the worst occur – but it allows the meat to smoke for up to 12 hours at relatively low temperatures for an authentic American BBQ experience.

And a fine experience it is. We tried the DC BBQ Combo (¥3,300), which included cuts of brisket, pork shoulder, belly, spare ribs and BBQ chicken (we also threw in some beef short ribs for good measure), and while the chicken tasted a little dry, the pork- and beef-based items were superb. With crunchy black crusts and melt-in-your-mouth softness, the meat clearly benefitted from its hours of slow pit cooking.

Despite DC BBQ’s insistence on providing an authentic American menu, there are a few concessions to the Japanese palate, including Asahi as the main beer (although they do have Blue Moon on tap, too) and pickled lotus root and gobo appetisers. Other sides we sampled, including a wedge salad, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, BBQ wings and an apple crumble ice cream, were all good to great (though the wings could’ve been a lot spicier) – but it’s clear that the slow-cooked meats department is where DC BBQ really shines.

Prices are reasonable: at dinner, the distinctly American-sized portions can easily be split among groups, while Minami-Azabu salaryfolk should check out the lunch menu, in which burgers and sandwiches (from ¥1,200) come with a side of fries or chips and unlimited drink refills – another very American touch. And in what is no doubt a rarity for a BBQ restaurant, DC BBQ even serves breakfast from the early hour of 7am. Because hey, it’s never too early for a chunk of meat.



Address: Olympic Inn Azabu 2F, 1-7-37 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku

Transport: Azabu-Juban Station (Namboku, Oedo lines), exit 2
Opening hours: Breakfast 7am-10am, lunch 11.30am-3pm (last orders 2.30pm), café 3pm-5pm, dinner 5pm-11.30pm (11pm) / closed Sun

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