Go to Kobe, must eat Kobe beef, right? Actually, Kobe beef is Kuroge Wagyu beef. Only 3000 cows a year can be considered as Kobe beef. One of the best and cheapest option is restaurant Kobe Beef KISSHOKICHI. It has various outlets in Kobe but we went to the main branch (address below).
They win many awards and they are not afraid to show it; they put an award on every table to show them.
Usually, restaurants buy cows from auctions, but in Japan, farmers keep the best cows because having raised the cattle with tender care, investing much time and effort, letting go of the cows is emotional for them. They care more about the cows than money, and so they want to make sure that the cows get the respect they deserve. They want to make sure that restaurants that buy the cows do it justice.
In this way, the restaurant works directly with Nakanishi farm and buys entire cows (which are awarded certification). The restaurant also work with local farmers for produce. Seasonal fish is from the Seto Inland Sea and Torafugu (tiger puffer) is directly sent from Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Besides their ingredients and affordable price, they are great because you can make a reservation on their website; not many Japanese restaurants do this. (Link to their website is at the end of this article.)
For weekday lunch, they have 8-course sets at ¥3900, ¥4900, and ¥5900. Some stupid website recommended us to get the 3900 set. DO NOT. It comes with only 80g of beef (too little even for a lady). Definitely go for the 4900, which has 150g.
In any case, when making reservation online, you have to tell them the set because they only have 29 sets daily, and we already made reservation for the 3900 set. Too bad for us.
The courses are pretty good. Delicate as expected, and each course pays attention to details.
How is Kobe beef? I didn’t go with high expectations so I wasn’t disappointed. If you have eaten wagyu before, it tastes like that. Here, the restaurant grills it the traditional way, none of that sous vide nonsense. As a result, it has a nice smokey exterior and a bright pinkish inside. It passes muster.
To be honest, it’s more of a boast you can make (“I ate Kobe beef in Kobe”) or more for experience, but it wouldn’t blow your mind.
For those of you who do not want a sit-down nice lunch, Kisshokichi has a roadside stall, selling Kobe beef street food style. The stall is nearby. You can’t miss it, it’s at the most crowded part of the Chinatown.
In case you have money to burn and want to consider other options, these are the ones we have researched to be good:Kokubu Steakhouse
1 Chome-21-2 Kitanagasadori, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken 650-0012
5pm – 9.30pm, closed Sun
Starts from ¥10K Kobe steak restaurant Royal Mouriya
2F of No.1 Kishi Bldg., 1-9-9, Kita-Nagasa-dori, Chuoh-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ken
Lunch set starts from ¥5,500, dinner set from ¥6,400 Steak and Grill Meriken Hatoba
12pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 9pm
facebook Steak Aoyama
2 Chome-14-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0011, Japan
12pm – 2pm, 5pm-9pm
Kobe Beef KISSHOKICHI 神戸牛吉祥吉 (Hon Ten main branch)
2-4-14 Motomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi Hyogo ken
11am – 3.30pm, 5pm – 9.30pm
Decor / ambience: 8/10
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.