December 7, 2018

Japan 2018 day 7: more sizzling beef

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After kicking off the evening with some great sake, we moved to Sumibiyakiniku Nakahara (炭火焼肉なかはら) for dinner.  Hello Kitty had wanted some beef on this trip, and we were trying to choose between yakiniku (焼肉) and steak.  Since we chose to have teppanyaki (鉄板焼) in Toya, we decided to have yakiniku in Tokyo.  Seeing that Nakahara-san is part of a foodie group I belong to and his restaurant is beloved by members of that group, I figured I owed it to myself to check it out.

The Man in White T-shirt found out that we were going to dine here, and offered to contact Nakahara-san on our behalf so that we could be seated at the counter in front of the boss.  Unfortunately we ended up with a late addition to our group to make it a party of 5, and there were only 4 seats at the counter, so we didn't have the boss cooking for us after all.  残念...

We chose the most expensive menu option, which was the Special Course that includes the "legendary tongue", 7 cuts of meat including "hormone (ホルモン)", and 1/4 of a steak cutlet sandwich.

The full-length version in 4K is here.

Our amuse was a take on vichyssoise, with potato foam with wagyu consommé jelly and corned beef

Yukhoe (육회) - pretty nice and soft...

Legendary tongue (幻のタン) - this actually consists of three different parts of the tongue - first the base of the tongue (タン元), then the front of the tongue (タン先), and finally the underside (タンゲタ).

The base of the tongue (タン元)  came as a thick cut, scored, and is the crunchy part.

The front was cut as thin slices, and the underside came with sinews.

Next came the house salad, which include 17 different types of vegetables from Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県).

Sirloin (サーロイン) - very, very meaty in the mouth, and marinated in a sweet tare (たれ).

Hangar steak (ハラミ) - a little chewy, but very juicy and full of meaty flavors... as expected.

Bolar blade (肩三角) - this came as a thicker cut than they way it is served at Yoroniku (よろにく).

Tri-tip (友三角) - fatty, with a nice and bouncy texture.  Also in sweet tare (たれ).

Eye of knuckle (シンシン) - a reasonably thick cut for this, and leaner than expected.  Very nice meat flavors.

Oxtail soup - apparently this was simmered for 50 hours... I loved the milky flavors, as well as the kick from black pepper.

Colon (シマチョウ) - taken with ponzu (ポン酢) and grated radish (おろし).  Very bouncy and fatty.

Rumen (ミノ) - taken with yuzukosho (柚子胡椒).  Very crunchy.

Beef cutlet sandwich (牛カツサンド) - this has become de rigeur at places serving yakiniku or steak. Yes, it was pretty damn good... which begs of question of why we only get 1/4 of the sandwich...

It was time for carbs at the end of the meal, and we were offered a choice of gyudon (牛丼) or cold noodles... or both.  Naturally I chose both.

Gyudon (牛丼) - what's not to like about this???

Cold noodles - this is kinda like Korean naengmyeon (냉면)... and the texture was pretty nice and chewy.

Can't do without kimchi and pickles...

Pistachio ice cream - the staff decided that we should have a little bit of tequila with our ice cream, and poured some on top...

This was a damn good meal.  A lot of different and interesting cuts of beef, and I wish that we could have had Nakahara-san cook them for us personally.  Next time, I guess...

P.S.  I found out later in the evening that my good friend from Taiwan had already eaten a full dinner at a restaurant with Michelin stars BEFORE joining us for this beef fest... Now THAT is impressive!

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