I don’t know if I can adequately describe how good the beef I just ate was, to describe it as the pinnacle of quality and flavour of all the beef I have eaten in my life to date would be appropriate. I think that says something, I mean I’ve worked with and eaten some of the best meat in the world, but this… well, this is special.
Now to be fair I’m not going to prattle on about Matsusaka beef like I knew what it was before I made the reservation, I had no idea. A quick Wikipedia search to explain to me why beef from this region was so good and why I should pay so much for the experience. Obviously I know about wagyu, I hadn’t considered about the quality hierarchy of different cattle breeds that fall within the Japanese wagyu category. Matsusaka being one of the top 3 breeds, the top accolade being heavily disputed, Matsusaka beef delivers a 5/5 rating for meat quality and an obscene amount of marbling.
Having just the one opportunity, probably in our lives to experience beef of this quality my partner and I chose to have the “Premium Course”, fully aware that the meal was large.
The menu consisted of:
Marbled and lean beef sushi
Short rib marinated in garlic sauce
4 different parts of Matsusaka beef – Marbled beef and scarcity parts – Sirloin, fillet, onglet, chuck
Garlic rice in a hot pot
Matsusaka hot and spicy ramen
Sake pudding and yuzu sorbet
I must say that the food was excellent with the garlic rice particularly excellent and worthy of a gushing description. The crust on the underside of the bowl, the golden garlic oil, the crisp fried salted beef bacon. It was delicious.
The beef sushi was surprisingly good, and thankfully seared to develop the flavour of the beef and deliver a taste sensation. I hadn’t expected it to be as good.
The appetizers, salad and ramen although good really just served as fillers and although the salad was welcome the appetizers, candied beef, smoked chicken, cheese and sweet potato were pointless. The Ramen was good, but the time I came to try it the noodles had lost their appeal and I was pretty full.
The one drawback of the restaurant was the gas barbecue, not coals, but not to worry, with the slab of beef fat given to grease up the cooing surface, I got a nice little fat burn started that will add a smoky taste to the meat. Not ideal, but a man has to do…
When it came to eating the freshly cooked beef I may have wet myself a little, metaphorically of course! It was amazing, a little salt, a little flame and my face. I’m not going to add much more here that I didn’t write in the first paragraph, anything do write would probably be the ramblings of a drunk man really excited about some beef he ate. My goodness it was Amazing!
My stomach did protest as I rose from the floor level table, I ate way more than was reasonable for me, I even managed to squeeze in the tiny and refreshing dessert. I was glad for the nightlife outside in Dotonburi, it will give me a distraction or two to stretch out my walk home, I think I need to aid my digestion that much at least.