I recommend going for shabu-shabu, which is very tasty and will not disappoint. But make sure to say shabu-shabu and not sukiyaki, as the two are very different. Sukiyaki is just too sweet and they use sugar directly in the broth – yuck!
The restaurant main headquarters is in Ginza named Zakuro and there they use sumi /charcoal/ to keep the broth bubbling hot at the table. Be sure not to touch the sides of the copper when cooking your meat.
This 10 minutes by taxi from Four Seasons and I we will reserve it:
Order a set menu and you can add more beef if you are still hungry but there is plenty of food. The beef A% is fatty yet once cooked it loses its intensity and is excellent flavoured. The set menu has some dishes are included such as the tomato salad, gomadofu which is a sesame tofu, etc.
But the menu for appetizers has two sides; on one side there are those items included in the set menu, and on the other side are premium dishes that are not included and cost more. The Japanese get excited when you select premium /not included items/ because you have to pay a surcharge.
As for the beef, the premium A5 beef is excellent and in order to enjoy it you should use some technique. The beef is ice cold so it can be sliced thin, and you have large oversized rib eye slices.
The secret is is do not try to pick up the entire piece of meat – simply use your hashi /chopsticks/ and tear away from the meat a small and manageable corner. Remember, the beef is overlapping so start with the top piece. This makes it easy to cook and enjoy the beef.
Then directly in front is a broth konbu dashi, and it is heated to boiling temperatures, and you’ll cook the meat yourself. The technique is shabu-shabu, and carefully you take the beef with your hashi and fan it in the hot broth, saying shabu-shabu and it is already cooked. Don’t over cook it or the flavour is gone, and having some red is perfectly fine.
Now the next step involves removing the beef and you have already been given a small flat dish with some sesame ponzu and onion. You can use this as a dipping sauce after cooking the beef and it helps cool it down. You may also ask for some garlic puree, or shi-chi-me /7/ spice to add it to the ponzu sauce, and don’t forget to use the ponzu so it cools the beef.
Shortly thereafter will come the vegetables and the waitress /server/ usually helps placing them into the broth for cooking and you can fish them out as you desire. Remember the vegetables are made of 90% water so be careful not to burn your mouth. There is a fine line between hot and scalding in shabu-shabu.
After the vegetables ask for the Chinese noodles, a ramen noodle and they prepare it for you into cups – this is a nice finish to a Japanese travel, and it is wholesome no-nonsense food.
PS: I use my sesame ponzu and add it to my broth with noodles – a nice touch.
Manager: Hideki Taguchi 03 3582 6841