I walk into our destination and my expression probably gave away my initial thoughts: what in the world? The interior looks like a thrift store threw up and mindlessly spat out the leftovers.
Blood red carpets cover the floors. The windows are lined with dingy red velvet curtains. Bizarre Medieval objects are stuck to the decrepit brick walls. Stone statues that belong in 15th century gardens are placed throughout the restaurant. I am almost positive the lighting is florescent spotlights. The decor is so tacky I was a bit afraid for the dinner.
We sit down, the menu arrives and it is sparse: à la carte or tasting. I look closer and notice the tiers. A3. A4. A5. I immediately feel a rush of excitement.
Omg it’s Kobe beef.
I look over towards my date with a smile of appreciation. He smiles back, acknowledging my silent gratitude. His expression is kind, relaxed… happy. I let him order and without hesitation he chooses the A5 course, a bottle of champagne. There’s a part of me that wonders if this is another over priced restaurant that are a dime a dozen in cities like Tokyo, NY and London.
Once the food started coming, my doubts were immediately put to rest.
The meal starts with slices of seared wagyu, eaten like sashimi, followed by a dreamy ox tail consommé. As the salad arrives, the chef starts heating the grill to cook the foie gras or scallops. Right when the last bite of the foie gras is consumed, the meat unobtrusively appears, timed by Japanese preciseness. The steak is served in squares of three, to ensure the meat stays warm. There are sauces but this steak needs zero garnishing. True A5 beef is a treat for your senses — perhaps even a once in a lifetime experience.
This was hands down, one of the best meal I’ve had in 5 or so years — Tokyo, New York, SF and LA included. I will probably be in bliss for the next year just thinking about this euphoric experience.
I am a lucky girl… though I make sure to replay my best friend’s words multiple times a day:”Be careful” she warned when I first told her about him, ”he is a man who gets what he wants when he wants it.”
Don’t I know it.
Kobe Beef Biftec Kawamura
6-5-1 Ginza, 8th floor