I Think I'm Turning Japanese
Kobe beef time!

If we thought rafute was melt-in-your-mouth amazing, we were able to find the one thing that just might outdo it: Kobe steak! Yes, folks, the rumors are true. Kobe beef is amazing. If you love meat as much as I do, you can understand why the hefty price tag is worth paying in order to enjoy something as glorious as a bite of kobe beef in your mouth. It was in sharp contrast to the sinewy (but still delicious) gyoudon I had in Kyoto earlier that day. But any foodie would be able to fulheartedly appreciate the amazing goodness of Kobe beef. It is tender, it is juicy, it is flavorful, it is beautifully marbled, and it makes love to your much-neglected tastebuds (which are angry about all the crap you had made it taste before the introduction of succulent beef).

Dan and I knew we wanted his last dinner in Japan to be kobe beef, and even though we had a small taste of it before, being able to enjoy a whole steak would be something different. We decided to go to A-1 Charcoal Steak, which was both the least expensive and (so I've heard) one of the most delicious in the area. I'm not sure what I was expecting from the steak house. I guess for the pricetag, I was picturing linen table clothes, candles on the table, a fancy maitre'd, and waiters in tuxedos who serenade you with Puccini arias as you done. But it was just your unassuming restaurant inside, complete with flourescent lighting spilling out from the kitchen. But at least the chefs were wearing cool hats. :-)

We decided to order the course that included a glass of wine, soup, salad, and rice. The waiter laid out these silly paper aprons for us to wear, which I thought was just for show, but was later very happy to have in order to save my clothes from the splattering fat of the beef. (Never before had splattering fat sounded so appetizing!)

The steaks arrived sizzling on iron platters, topped with onions and generous slices of garlic and paired with spinach and some fried potatoes. Dan ordered 240 grams and I got 170, and since I have no idea how big grams were, I was anticipating it to be really small. But it was pretty big! I even ended up giving an extra slice to Dan (blasphemy!), who had gobbled it down like there was no tomorrow. I was a little skeptical when they had only given us chopsticks for the beef, but it is so tender and amazing that you can pick up the slices and bite off the size you want. Or, you can do as Dan did and put an entire slice in your mouth. :-)

I savored every single bite. I am the type of person that likes to make little meals of each bite: a little bit of spinach on top of the beef, topped with a small slice of garlic and a little morsel of potato. I like the way that I can make every bite different depending on what I decide to mix around. I was careful to leave some garlic and potato for my very last bite, and then set it aside as I finished my salad and rice. It was like my reward for eating all the extra stuff first. 

After the last amazing bite was gone, a small part of me was sad. But, I realized that in a little more than a week, my parents will be visiting and I can take them to this place again! More steak, please!

If I were an inmate on death row, I would definitely ask for some Kobe beef, with a side of rafute, of course.
4/6/2011 07:24:01 pm

Ok, you've convinced me. I'm not usually craving for red meat but after you vivid description of your Kobe beef, I'd like to try...next week!


Leave a Reply.