Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So, I've been home a few days and just relaxing, but now it's time to tell you about the greatest meal of my life

Thursday night Melissa was kinda enough to take Laura and I out to dinner. She finally decided on a yakiniku, place around the corner from her apartment. None of us had ever been out to a real yakiniu restaurant, so we weren't really sure how to do this. Luckily Melissa speaks Japanese, but the menu still daunted us enough to let our waiter basically give us whatever he was good. That guy deserves a medal.

The first course was an appetizer plate with pickled vegetables, noodles, ginger, two kinds of kimchi, and tofu in a magical sauce.

Second up was a bowl of raw beef, and three bowls of this sauce with a sugar cube dissolving in it. The host told us we were to dip pieces of the beef in the sauce and then rap it in a mustard leaf and eat it. We were all a little apprehensive about eating raw beef... for about 6 seconds, then dug in.

Next was strips seasoned beef that we grilled at our table. I keep burning myself since the burner is right in the middle of the table and I would cross it to get more meat, or kimchi or something. We managed to sear the meat, leaving the center to still be nice and rare. This stuff was incredible. Imagine the best stake you've ever had, then slice it real thin and rub it with herbs and spices. Perfection.

The next course of meat was two different kinds of unseasoned steak, the first being so soft that the term "like butter" immediately came to mind. I didn't even know meat could be that soft.

The second cut of meat in this course was much thicker, and the incredible marbling indicated that it was probably kobe. I've never had actual kobe beef, the closet I've come to was American "kobe style" which doesn't really measure up. I honestly can't begin to describe this joy. I ate this small piece of steak in about 20 bites, just so I could savor it.
The final course of beef was by far my favorite.
Very thinly sliced strips that were heavily marinated in a thin sauce that contained flavors of soy, garlic, ginger, and some other things I couldn't identify. The sauce was so good I wanted a bowl of it, and rather than be too strong it complimented the meat very well.

We also had a course of salad and a course of glass noodles in there somewhere, and though they were very good, they just weren't spectacular enough to write about.

So I had the best meal of my life in Japan, mostly due to the incredible beef, and Melissa paying for it :)

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