Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511
Located in the upmarket suburb of Akasaka, Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 is one beef joint with a seriously good reputation. Their melt-in-your-mouth beef and impressive service mean that it becomes a must-visit destination for many visiting foodies. The ‘511’ in the name of the restaurant comes from their mission to use only the best, A5 grade beef with a beef marbling standard value of 11. Though there are popular tasting menus available, many people just go for the beef.
This small, family-run restaurant with just 8 seats offers a particularly warm welcome to enjoy Kobe beef in a great atmosphere. Seated in front of the chef, everything is explained to you as he cooks, from the origin of the ingredients to the cooking technique. For the basic menu with 100g of meat, a starter, soup and coffee, it will cost 5,200 yen ($46) per person. The relaxed family atmosphere is very pleasant, and they offer reasonable rates for good Kobe beef.
New York Grill
You may know this address as the home of the Park Hyatt, aka the Lost in Translation bar; however, there is more than just that reason to check out this Tokyo institution. New York Grill is the residence of Federico Heinzmann, arguably one of the kings of Kobe beef steak. Usually stocked with either Hokkaido, Saga or Sendai beef, New York Grill is a reliable Kobe beef stop-off for any carnivore ready to splurge.
Rich with history, Ningyocho Imahan was established 120 years ago. It is both a butcher and a shop, which means you will always get the very best and freshest cuts on your plate. Located in a number of areas across Tokyo and Yokohama, we recommend checking out the Nihonbashi location. It has traditional floor seating, and with a lunch menu that will cost you under US$50, it is a safe bet for a reliable meal at a very friendly price.
This restaurant founded in 1885 is well known as one of the best beef restaurants in Kobe. The cheapest menu starts at 5,500 yen ($49) for lunch and dinner, including a round steak, soup, rice and tea. To have a filet of their finest meat, expect to pay at least 10,000 yen ($89). The restaurant, with its modern and European-inspired decor, has limited place settings, so it is strongly recommended to book ahead on their website. If you sit at the bar, the chef will give you an explanation of the process as he prepares the meat on a teppanyaki in front of you.
Wakita is located a 4-minute walk from Minatogawakoen Station. At this casual yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurant, you will be able to savor Kobe beef that the owner has procured himself. For lunch, they serve rice bowl dishes and set meals that include miso soup and rice. A must-try dish is their Kobe Beef Yakiniku Set (2,871 JPY (excl. tax)). While grilling your meat on the iron griddles on the tables, you will be able to enjoy the rich flavor and umami (Japanese savory taste) of Kobe beef as it melts in your mouth. It tastes even better if you dip the meat in their house-made sauce.