Jul 17, 2023 - Food and Drink

Bite club: Japanese barbecue at X Pot

Bronze cow sculpture with various cuts of meat placed on it.

The Wagyu Feast presentation at Wagyu House by the X-Pot. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Chicagoans have been grilling up Korean barbecue at their tables for decades, but Japanese yakiniku barbecue — concentrating on small, fine cuts of meat and veggies — not so much.

Driving the news: That may change with the new all-you-can-eat barbecue menu at Wagyu House by the X-Pot that debuted this spring.

How it works: Diners pay $68 to $88 for an array of meat, seafood and vegetables to grill at their tables.

  • I tried a press sample — with no obligation to write about it.

The bite: The Wagyu Feast of super fatty beef from Japan, the U.S. and Australia starts the $88 platinum versions of the meal. It comes to the table with smoke pouring out of a bronze bull's nose.

  • Why the smoke? "For social media," the server told me.

The verdict: Some of the beef was divine and melted in my mouth, but other pieces were unpleasantly chewy.

  • Plus, I was given little to no guidance on what to do with the vegetables I ordered to grill with the meal. I finally flagged down a server to help me.

The intrigue: X-Pot also offers an immersive 5D dining room with hot pot, a small digital chef who appears to cook on the table, and 360° video with music for $118 per person.

Animated image of a round table surround by Screen that looks like it's underwater with a whale
The 5D immersive dining room that patrons can reserve for private hot pot meals. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

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