G-Be Izakaya is located right next to Grand Villa Casino. They serve combo sets and rice bowls for lunch and hot pot for dinner with several pricing options. For $13.99 (adults) and $9.99 (children), you get the basic SuperSave all-you-can-eat hotpot set, or for an additional $5 (adults) and $3 (children), you can get Deluxe SuperSave Items. If you want to go all out you can get the Premium SuperSave upgrade for $8 (adults) and $6 (children) added to the basic charge. Just be mindful that there’s a requirement for everyone at the table to get the same package.
They also have a cute “no waste” policy. If you have lots leftover, they are entitled to charge you $1 per piece of food leftover which is donated in full to charity. The cute part? You get a donation receipt back for your contribution so you can be sure that’s where the money is going! I doubt they enforce it very much but it sure keeps people accountable to what they order.
We visited on a Saturday night and the place was about ¾ full. The ambiance of the place was not bad, and would be perfect for gatherings with friends. They have larger tables that can accommodate large groups as well. Although they have a 90 minute limit on dining time, we were there for 3-4 hours and were not asked to leave at any point. Food came promptly and service was friendly and generally good except that we did have to ask for tea and more water to be added to our hotpot a few times.
Food:Hokkaido Miso Broth / Osaka Katsuo Broth ($9) – 3/5
We picked the Premium Supersave Upgrade (I hope you know me well enough to not be surprised), with a combo soup base of Hokkaido Miso Broth and the Osaka Katsuo Broth (a clear bonito base). Their bonito base is made with real Kombu rather than powdered MSG dashi so you get lovely natural umami flavors. The soup bases were alright, nothing exciting, but no issues either. You get default sweet soy for dipping but all other sauces cost extra. We only went with the default that night.With the Premium upgrade you also get all you can drink pop (self-serve from the fountain) or green tea. Their green tea is of good quality and comes in tea bags of loose leaf green tea, certainly a treat compared to the typical watered down tea. Salmon, Tuna, Snapper, Surf Clam and Squid Sashimi – 4/5
This is from the premium upgrade list. The sashimi was small, but normal by AYCE standards, but they were really fresh and enjoyable.
This is from the deluxe upgrade menu. The seaweed wrapper was nice and crisp but it was a rather small blob of chopped tuna and green onions paired with a lot of brown rice, not really practical for an AYCE diner. I also would’ve preferred the chopped tuna spruced up a little bit more, may be with a sauce of some sort.
This is also from the deluxe upgrade menu. I found the spicy salmon topping more flavorful than the chopped tuna but the topping to rice ratio remains an issue.BBQ Wings – 4/5
From the deluxe upgrade menu. The wings were moist with a garlicky and peppery topping, very tasty.
Fish Balls, Tofu Puffs, Squid, Taro, Squash – 3/5
The fish balls were very bouncy and enjoyable, I’d rate them a 4/5 on their own. The rest of the items were good as well but nothing amazing.
Hot Pot Items I tried from the deluxe menu:
Pork Wonton, Frozen Tofu, Pork Balls – 4/5
The pork balls were really fantastic, and I’d rate them a 5/5 on their own. It was my favourite thing that night and not only were they springy and bouncy, it had a perfect distribution of fat, gelatin and meat which made it juicy and flavourful. The tofu is normal medium tofu, available at almost all AYCE hot pot places. The wontons are relatively small but tasted fine.
Hot Pot Items I tried from the premium menu:
Kobe-Style fatty Beef, Beef Neck, Pork Belly, Pork Cheek, Oyster, Yam Noodle, Chives Pork Dumpling – 3/5
The Kobe-style fatty beef wasn’t exceptional but it wasn’t bad either. It was the first time I’ve had beef neck and I found that it had a deeper beefier flavour compared to the normal beef, but it could be a little overwhelming so I prefer regular beef. The pork belly came in “sticks” rather than slices which made it too fatty to eat. The pork cheek was sliced up thinly which was a lot more eater-friendly. It also had more surface area for the sauce which made it more enjoyable. There’s a limit of 2 oysters per person, which were large and fresh. The chives pork dumplings were the most disappointing hot pot item of the night. They were doughy and had very little filling.
At the time of writing this I realized that we put in an order for BBQ Salmon Belly but never got it. All well, next time!
All in all, the ingredients are generally good and fresh. Not everything is fantastic but I certainly wouldn’t mind going back for some more of their pork balls, wings and try that BBQ Salmon Belly!