In Japan, eating beef was taboo until the emperor lifted the ban on meat consumption in 1871. These days, Japanese Yamagata beef, considered by steak-fanciers the non plus ultra for its rich marbling of fat, is justifiably famed. Yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurants such as this are temples to the appreciation of beef, and Atsushi does Japanese beef proud. The interior is sleek, dark and small, like dining inside a black lacquer bento box. Gas barbecue grills are set into the glossy black marble tables, Korean style.
There’s just enough English on the menu to make clear what’s what, and our host did his best to explain the various cuts with the help of a useful cow diagram. At ¥10,000-¥15,000 per person, the set menus are pretty steep, but by choosing carefully from the à la carte and ordering plenty of rice, salad, soup and crunchy, spicy kimchi, the damage can be minimised.
But don’t miss out on the (admittedly pricey) prime marbled cuts as well as the leaner ‘red’ cuts: the texture and flavour are unsurpassed, and cooking the slivers yourself over hot coals is an experience not to be missed. Oenophiles with deep pockets will be pleased with the selection of by-the glass reds. If you want to splurge on superior steak, this is the place.
|Venue name:||Yakiniku Steak Atsushi|
1-10-7 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 5.30pm-12am, Sat & pub hol 5pm-12am / closed Sun|
|Transport:||Roppongi Station (Hibiya, Toei Oedo lines)|
|Price:||Set menu from ¥10,000|