so what is living in Japan without having tried wagyu? well.. I had (the cheaper) Kobe beef before and I still think (medium priced home-cooked) Hanwoo beef from Korea tastes better =X. but the thing is, after going to Hidenori at Tsukiji and had their 2000yen a piece of raw wagyu beef sushi, I am now hooked onto wagyu. can’t say I prefer it over Hanwoo but I am definitely digging the raw wagyu beef in Japan. but I am a poor student and very unfortunately cannot afford to eat such luxurious food often. so what do I do?
I look for affordable places!
but with a catch, because Matsurokuya only serves 30 portions of this A5 Kurogewagyu everyday. I arrived 40minutes before (10:50) the shop opened at 11:30am and I was already 10th in line. but however, people who arrived just 10minutes before it opened were at like number 20-25. but just to be safe, arrive earlier. as this place is near some university, there may be many Japanese university students lining up for this in the morning.
but well, fortunately in Japan, cheap does not always mean bad. I searched online before university even started and found this place far out in Roppongi where you can devour a bowl of rice topped with lightly seared A5 Kurogewagyu beef for only 1,500yen! and the best of all? it is served in Hitsumabushi style (will blog about this famous Nagoya eel dish sometime later!) which means you get to enjoy one dish in three ways!
Matsurokuya is actually a pretty high end restaurant (you NEED to check out their super high end toilet lol) and if you’re lucky you may even be seated on tatami and have a super Japanesey lunch which would easily cost you.. well, a lot.
but I am contented with my western style seating which is much more comfortable for my foreigner legs =D.
they provide descriptions on how you are supposed to eat this the Hitsumabushi way (3 ways) in both Japanese and English so no worries on not knowing how to eat it!
there’s an oyakodon menu too in case you arrived late. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be yummy but not as worth it ahhaha.
for me, of course I went with the beef bowl!
and my wagyu set!
1. eat it as it is.
2. eat it with wasabi and the other “spices”. there are 5 different spices. (they forgot to give me wasabi hence it wasn’t in the picture. they served it to me later lol.)
3. they’d give you rice and a pot of soup in the middle of your meal and you can add more rice, all the spices and lastly, the soup and have it Ochazuke style!
I was meant to come here with my Swedish friend who said the portion looked small in pictures and there looked like there was very little beef but I would like to say that.. I was super stuffed and there was an extra layer of beef in the middle! although it doesn’t look like it.
one of the side dishes which I really liked! it looks like egg but it’s actually a bundle of tofu! mmm. sweet and savory.
the layer of beef in the middle! there wasn’t as much of course but there was a good 4 pieces which was slightly more cooked by the hot rice sandwiching it.
and eating it Ochazuke style! if you do not know what Ochazuke is, it is actually a simple dish of rice with some savory toppings drenched in tea or soup. Ocha means tea, zuke means submerge. makes total sense. haha. my favourite ochazuke’s actually with salmon+avocado or with mentaiko. you can also make it at home by buying the instant ochazuke packs at home and adding your own toppings ^^. those packs includes those confetti-like crunch balls, seaweed, seasoning and tea so all you need to do is add water!
after my very satisfying meal, they served us cocoa youkan (red bean cake) which was amazing. I personally really loved it but my Irish friend wasn’t a fan and gave me his portion in the end haha.
Mmmmm. who knew cocoa and red bean would be such a great combination.
the shop wasn’t very spacious but it was definitely very classy.
and here’s a picture of their name card!
the exterior of the restaurant. very traditional.
all that zen. I like.
verdict: it wasn’t the best wagyu I’ve had (spoilt by that super expensive wagyu sushi at Tsukiji just a week before this lol) but it was definitely very satisfying and heck, where else can you get such awesome wagyu beef for 1,500yen?!
directions: upon exiting Roppongi Station exit 6, turn into the left alley and you’ll see a line of people.