☆☆ Nakahara (English available)
We don’t know any yakiniku restaurant other than Nakahara which commits more to procure the best-quality Wagyu beefs. It buys only selected Wagyu cow with certain ages. Mr.Nakahara, the owner chef, checks the quality of the beef every time without any compromise, buys it and ages the beef until the condition of the meat becomes better. This is why Nakahara can offer the top class wagyu to its customers.
Some people say that Nakahara is too expensive, people who know Wagyu don’t think so given the quality of the meat is so high.
The way of serving yakiniku is also must-check when you visit Nakahara. Mr.Nakahara doesn’t cut the beef until the customer orders in order to prevent the meats from drying and oxidation. His speedy and precise cut makes it possible to serve the most fresh yakiniku.
When we had a conversation with Mr.Nakahara, he said “I want to cut better beef”. It is obvious that he always sees higher goal even Nakahara is already one of the top yakiniku restaurants in Japan. Mr.Nakahara’s mind to provide the best Wagyu yakiniku to all the customers who visit Nakahara is worth respecting.
While many yakiniku restaurants are imitating reciprocally, Jumbo is often said “yakiniku restaurant with full of originality”. Jumbo uses various brands of beefs and cuts them nicely, then marinates it with its original yakiniku sauce “Jumdare”.
If there were not for Jumbo, no yakiniku restaurant which serves thinly cut beef or scarce parts of the beef could emerge. Literally the impact Jumbo made to yakiniku industry was huge. What’s even more surprising is that Jumbo never stops its walk to the next step. Every time we visits Jumbo, different and of course delicious beef dishes welcome us.
Jumbo has 4 restaurants in Tokyo and each of them is slightly different with others. To find your favorite may be exciting way to enjoy Jumbo.
Mr.Komiyama jumped into yakiniku industry from totally different world and made “Ra Boufu” top yakiniku restaurant, then opened Cossott'e.
Cossott'e has seats at counter and watching Mr.Komiyama lightly cooking Wagyu beef was something like participating concert in the most front seat. We felt excitement of hearing Mr.Komiyama “singing” on the stage.
Wagyu beef Cossott'e buys is also incredible. Cossott'e tags with Yoshizawa, the best whole seller in Shibaura market, and procures top quality Wagyu cow. Not only sirloins and tenderloins, but also hard parts of beef such as shank meat etc which typical yakiniku restaurants don’t use were used by Mr.Komiyama, and he makes it tender and tasty by preparing in various ways. For instance, he uses Shio-Koji, Japanese traditional seasoning and makes hidden cuts in the beefs to make them tender.
Unfortunately Mr.Komiyama decided to retire in 2016. Mr.Ito and Mr.Kayamori are now in responsible for the restaurants. Both of them are taking over Mr.Komiyama’s spirit and trying hard to make the restaurants even better with bit of their originalities.
After eight years in the kitchen of Kunimoto, Mr.Kaneko opened Kaneko in the middle of a residential area in Daikanyama in 2015. He is running Kaneko with his wife who also used to work in Kunimoto. It is understandable why yakiniku sauce in Kaneko is outstanding if you hear that he used to make the yakiniku sauce in Kunimoto.
Mr. Kaneko primarily uses Wagyu cow such as Tamura beef with certain ages. He sometimes buys pure Tajima blood Wagyu as well. With his experienced techniques, those top quality Wagyu beef becomes the top quality yakiniku.
We would say Shimizu is the most evolving yakiniku restaurant for the last few years.
The first impression we got from Shimizu was how reasonable the price was. Then when we revisited Shimizu for the 2nd time, we felt the restaurant very special. Since then we have been visiting Shimizu very frequently.
Shimizu has been buying top quality Wagyu beefs such as Tamura beef and Kobe beef from Kawagishi farm, one of the most popular farm in Japan. It used to use only front legs of the beefs, but it recently began to use Sirloins and other parts of the beefs as well so that we can now enjoy more various menus compared to a year ago.
Yakiniku sauce was improved, and the combination of the sauce and the top quality Wagyu beef became much tastier. This kind of improvements can be seen in many situations in Shimizu and we are confident that Shimizu will become one of the top yakiniku restaurants very soon.
☆☆ Kim (English available)
A la carte menus and the standard full-course dinner are of course good, but the special Omakase full-course dinner which can only be ordered by customers who have visited Kim for several times is the best.
Mr.Yoshida, the chef, who had been working at the kitchen of western style restaurant for many years offers variety of beef dishes such as hamburgers of which buns are homemade, Salisbury steak with Foie gras in it, beef stew, and homemade noodles.
We recommend you visit Kim frequently until you are allowed to order the Omakase full-course dinner and enjoy Mr.Yoshida’s heartwarming dinner show.
We need to apologize first that not everyone can experience this special full-course dinner. Only the most frequent customers can be served by Mr.Nakamura, the owner, and eat the best parts of the beef bought by the restaurant. We call it Meimon’s yakiniku caste system and we are powerless in front of the system: everything is on Mr.Nakamura’s hand.
Mr.Nakamura is a versatile entertainer who makes customer he serves laugh. It is said that “People is visiting Meimon and paying money for Mr.Nakamura’s entertainment show”.
At the same time, he has deep knowledge about beef and yakiniku. It is often considered not special that the owner of yakiniku restaurant knows about beef and yakiniku, but in fact it is rare. Mr.Nakamura has been made significant effort behind the scene. Based on the knowledge he has, Meimon procures well-selected beefs. Meimon asks the whole sellers to sell the top quality horumons and those horumons are again creamed off by Mr.Nakamura. The horumons at Meimon is like jewelries.
Non-frequent customers can only look enviously with a finger in one’s mouth. We strongly recommend that you find a frequent customer first, then ask her to bring you to the heaven.
When typical yakiniku restaurants used low-quality meats marinated with salty and rich sauce, Sutamina-en offers so fresh and high-quality meats that the rumor which the Prime Minister of Japan visited the restaurant emerged.
Sutamina-en was obviously the restaurant made the first yakiniku revolution, followed by the 2nd yakiniku revolution which Jumbo and Bap-house introduced scarce parts of beefs to yakiniku menus, and then by the 3rd yakiniku revolution which Yoroniku introduced full-course dinner and some creative beef dishes. The Yakiniku restaurants made those revolutions never ruin, but always trying to make the next revolution.
If you know anyone who visit Sutamina-en frequently, we recommend that you ask her to take you to the restaurant and order the special full-course dinner only for the frequent customers. All the horumons at Sutamina-en are of course incredibly fresh and no uncomfortable smell is recognized, but moreover you will be able to find the finest and the freshest horumons in this special menu. Once you eat it, you can’t wait for the next visit.
Yamagataya opened its 2nd restaurant in Ginza last year. Is Yamagaya a yakiniku restaurant or a steak house? Whichever it is, there are which you can only find here. Yamagataya uses only the tastiest parts of the beef and other peripheral parts are not used. Some people say that those peripheral parts can be used, but we see Mr.Yamagata’s mind that he don’t want to serve any part of the beef which is not the best.
He has a great technique of grilling the beef and it is already no doubt went down in the yakiniku history. He carefully sees firepower of the charcoal-grill and uses the gridiron effectively to grill the meat. Seasonings are also perfect. Just the right amount of salt is used to bring out the flavor of the beef. His notable techniques can be seen only in Yamagataya in Ginza. To see his show, it worth paying the cost which sometimes said expensive.
No one can easily make a reservation at Masa-chan in Osaka.
Masa-chan, the owner chef, sometimes shouts at the clients and presses them with his knife on his hand, therefore people often focus on his characteristics. In fact, lots of scratches and scars are seen on his cutting board.
However, the more you visit and know Masa-chan, the more you feel his kindness. All of his words and behaviors comes from his mind to have his customers eat delicious yakiniku. Vice versa clients love Masa-chan as well. They suggested Masa-chan to take a holiday during summer in order to get Masa-chan rest even they all want to eat Masa-chan’s yakiniku all year around. Once you experience Masa-chan’s yakiniku, you understand why those frequent clients suggested so.
Two living legends in Osaka yakiniku industry are no doubt Masa-chan and Osamu-chan.
Osamu-chan has only 8 seats in 10 square meters space. Osamu-chan, the owner chef, cuts chunk of Wagyu beef in front of the clients. All of the meats you can find here, especially Wagyu tongue and skirt, are so fresh that customers who loves yakiniku would go insane. The yakiniku sauce is also impeccable. In addition, Osamu-chan always entertains his customers with his talk, what else do you want? Just to note that the restaurant is far from “fancy”; no one expects Osamu-chan fanciness though. The last surprise Osamu-chan gives the clients is its bill. Leaving the restaurant, everyone agrees that Osamu-chan is the true legend.
The talented chef with outstanding skills and full of passion to yakiniku has built his new world in Hakata. With only typical ingredients which yakiniku restaurants often use, Mr.Sudo, the owner chef, makes very creative beef dishes. He often absorbs the techniques and the ideas of other yakiniku restaurants, but it doesn’t mean he just imitates the menu itself. We can see his originality on the plate as well. You can also enjoy the traditional yakiniku as well. His 7 year experience in the kitchen of Kunimoto make him possible to offer variety of beef dishes to the customers. Sudo offers well-selected Wagyu beefs from all over Japan with relatively reasonable prices. We recommend that you try full-course dinner which all of its grilling processes is done by Sudo’s professional staffs.