Exceptionally delicious wagyu in the sightseeing mecca of Kyoto, Arashiyama
Steak Otsuka in Arashiyama is a peculiar restaurant. It’s located in a house that looks really normal, not like a restaurant at all. And it’s also surrounded by other such houses. The restaurant is located in a quiet residential area, but there’s still always a line in front of it. And it’s only open for lunch!
But that’s not all: their steaks are, to say it simply, mouth-wateringly delicious. You also get rice and a salad with the steaks. You can order a 100g or 150g steak, but as the Japanese beef they use is quite fatty, you’ll feel surprisingly full after eating it. Note that short plate, flap, flat iron, and chuck flap steaks are available in both 100g and 150g portions, but 150g is the only choice for sirloin steaks.
And for the quality of the beef you get, their prices are pretty reasonable.
Murasawa sirloin steak (Grade: premium A5)
/ ¥7,700 /150g
This steak is called the miracle steak, as there’s so little of it in the market that you rarely run into it except in the finest of dining establishments. The steak is called Murasawa because the farmer raising the cows is named Mr Murasawa. He only ships 80 cows to the market a year! The A5 rank means that it has earned the highest rank in all the matters that matter with beef, be it marbling or firmness.
The first bite of this steak is a shock. The sweetness of the fat melts right away, and it’s almost overpowering. The umami in this beef is on a level not usually available to mere mortals. The memory of eating this beef will remain with you to the last of your days.
Flat iron steak
/ ￥¥2,970 for 100g and ￥3,960 for 150g
Flat iron steak is a cut from the shoulder of a cow, and it should be a bit chewy. And sure, at Otsuka, it was chewier than the A5 rank wagyu beef, but the little bit of chewiness in it came out as a deep, rich flavor. Like Otsuka describes this steak on their menu, this steak has a robust taste to it.
And while I’m saying it’s chewy, it’s only chewy compared to the exceptionally tender Murasawa sirloin steak. Normally you’d call Otsuka’s flat iron steak tender and juicy.