Friday, November 7, 2014

YummY! - Barbecued Wagyu Beef @ Osaka Kuromon

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               Jotaro's Food Review               
Nikudozan Restuarant, Kuromon Ichiba, Osaka, Japan - October 2014.
We were at Osaka's Kuromon Ichiba Market during a free and easy trip to Japan; looking for nice eats for lunch, we were spoilt for choices - there were so many to choose from.
We finally settled for an outlet called Nikudozan; what attracted us to the place was the word "Wagyu Beef". While in Japan one should never miss having at least one meal with good beef - Kobe Beef is the best but it's super pricely and not that easily available.
So we settled for Wagyu at this outlet that serves it fresh for us to barbecue the meat ourselves. I guess Lady Luck was looking out for us, as this turned out to be one of the best meals we had!

As with most Japanese outlets, the place was small. But it was nicely furnished with warm timber stalls making the place cosy and also not cramped.

The difficulty thing about being in Japan is the language. Most menu are in Kanji and most locals hardly speak English. A couple of our friends were not beef eaters, this being a beef outlet, how do we communicate this to the owner?
We were lucky, the lady operator speaks some basic English, but it was very, very basic. With our smattering of Japanese, we managed to get the idea that they served only beef here. So our two friends went our to take-away some barbecued chicken wings from a market stall.

Those chicken wings were definitely not enough to fill up our friends' tummies.
Through another round of waving hands and smattering talk, we managed to order this Kimchi Rice for them.
I must add that the Japanese are meticulous in their presentation. It does not matter whether a meal is simple or elaborate, or whether it's cheap or up-market; the meal is always detailedly presented to look delicious - mouth watering delicious even before it's eaten!

Okay.... let's zoom in on the thing that attracted us to this place... Wagyu Beef!
Beautiful looking small slabs of marble beef, they were nice cuts that were ready for ...

the grille! As the beef cooked, the aroma wafting out built up our appetites even more.

We learnt our lesson on how to get the barbecuing right through some trial and error, in the process getting some of the beef too well done.
Barbecue one side for 30 seconds, flip over and do the other side for another thirty seconds,  and it should be about right. These type of beef should be eaten medium rare. It will be a waste to eat this well done, if you like your beef well done just go to a normal American grille house.
This place got it right, do it in smaller, thinner slices and just lightly grilled and we have little pieces of heaven just waiting for us to appreciate.

We also had these beef that was marinated with Miso sauce and garnished with spring onions and sesame seeds. These were good, but they lose out to the marble beef anytime; which we thought were the best, that is until...

... until this huge slice of beef came!
I am not sure what cut this beef is, it came highly recommended by the lady operator of the shop; I think it is the top-side Kuroge Wagyu Beef. We definitely had no regrets following her advise. It had a good balance of lean and fats while having a fantastic taste.

Not wanting to take any risks, we left it to the experts (one of the waiters) to do the grilling for us. He did it perfectly, slowly cooking it and snipping off smaller pieces to serve to us.
The Wagyu here is fantastically perfect, of nice aroma and flavour. Best of all it is so tender that with easy bites it feels like the juicy meat is melting in the mouth!

The beef is serves with the renown short and stumpy Japanese Rice. For me it was best to eat the meat separately from the rice so as to get most out of the meat. The rice, I ate with whatever juices that have overflowed down onto it.

To complement the main meal, a bowl of Japanese Seaweed Soup served with a sprinkling of sesame seed. It's a simple soup with just a tinge of saltiness and a whiff of the sea, one that did not overshadow the tasty beef.

To finish off the meal - desserts in the form of ice-cream freizy:
Strawberry Freeze, with half a cut of real strawberries topped up with half-creamy freeze.

Green Tea Ice-Cream Freeze with a strong underlying taste of Japanese Green Tea.

The best thing was that the place is not too pricey, for this very good meal it cost us 1,000 Yen per pax only!
The Lunchtime Specials Menu; available from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Their Desserts Menu.

The Ice-cream Freeze Menu.

Kuromon Ichiba Market, 〒542-0073 1-15-6 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan.
GPS: 34.665360, 135.506157

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