1-5-9, Osaka, Osaka
Contact | +81 6-6211-0291
$180 for the 12-ounce Kobe Beef Set
I was hoping to overdose on raw fish during our 10-day trip to Japan. Little did I know we’d come away certified kobe beef eaters. This happened in Osaka after a half-day jaunt in the town of Kobe itself, just about an hour’s drive west.
Osaka is the marketplace of all marketplaces. Blocks after blocks of shops and eateries intertwine to form this mega maze of a bazaar. It’s where we found some of the best food, but even better, the best source of people-watching.
There were enough locals there to dilute the presence of tourists like ourselves. The streets were packed with businessmen out for lunch, teens meeting up after school, deep into the wee hours of the morning. Vibes quickly change from one block to another. A couple high-end shops can suddenly turn into an alley filled with hole-in-the-wall bars, while a group of glitzy bakeries could open into a row of curtained-off peeps shows.
One particular street named Dotonburi housed the food vendors — mostly takoyaki stands and yakitori bars. Somewhere amid all of that was where we found ourselves that Saturday night, at a grilling restaurant called Syohoru.
You can easily fill yourself up by snacking as you wander these streets, which we did. But still we felt the need to have an actual sit-down dinner before leaving Osaka, so why not really fatty meat. There was about a half-hour wait at Syohoru. There was an English menu, though that didn’t really detract from the authenticity of this very cozy restaurant.
We wanted to make sure the kobe beef was real, and after some amount of gesturing, the staff brought over the house certificate. The price tag was sort of a giveaway anyway, so we went with it.
I swear you can smell the marbled fat as the platter is being brought out. It was almost a shame to watch it get tainted by the grill. The slices quickly go up in flames given the sheer amount of fat they contain. All they require is a few seconds on each side and you get this bite of meat that require zero gnawing. It literally melts.
The set comes with three different cuts. They each taste slightly different, but I was more caught up in the buttery-ness of it all. A dozen ounces is more than enough, but just to vary it up, we also ordered some belly wagyu. These cuts were also velvety, but there’s definitely a reason they cost half the the price.
We made a point to have kobe around Kobe, but the richness of it is probably enough to keep me satisfied for a couple years. Those who order the set walk away with a photo and mini copy of the certificate, which is now sitting on our shelf as a reminder not to ruin the experience with another kobe dinner somewhere in the States.