Ikinari Steak is big in Tokyo. That may be an overstatement if compared with the how ubiquitous those donburi kings such as Yoshinoya, Matsuya, or Sukiya and other international fast food franchises. However, Ikinari Steak’s grasp has reached to as far as Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Kumamoto on the west and Sendai to the north, in addition to its many outlets in the capital.
The secret behind the success started with the adoption of tachigui concept. The fast tempo of Japanese daily routine altogether with high property and population density in big cities are the main reasons behind the emergence of ‘eating while standing’ eateries.
There are no seats available in the restaurant and only high dining tables equipped with all sorts of sauces and cutlery. While this might be frowned upon by those who are not accustomed to it, but this concept creates quick turnover of customers.
Thus we can immediately assume that the quick turnover helps to subside the pricing. If that’s the case, it’s precisely why Ikinari Steak bravely offers half the price of the competition for the steaks. For example, 300 grams of rib eye will cost you around JPY 1,800! With so many cuts of meat in its arsenal such as quality sirloin, tenderloin, secondary cuts, burger, and wagyu; Ikinari Steak seems unbeatable as of this moment.
It was a mixture of foodie senses and destiny that brought me for my first time encounter with Ikinari Steak in Hiroshima. The store was not that big but even at 11 p.m., people were still frequenting it and seen enjoying their supper with rice and soup. Yes, rice and soup! French fries or mashed potato is not appealing for this type of mass, but the meat culture has always been strong in Japan as we all know.
First thing first is to order your meat at the butcher’s counter. State your cut and refer him the weight for your steak. Commonly it is between 200, 300, and up to 500 grams. He will then slice the meat and weigh it in front of the customer. That way, we will also know the exact weight and price.
Afterwards, state your preferred temperature for the steak and expect great things coming from the kitchen. Served on a hot plate upon a bed of onions and corn kernels, the steak was beautifully presented, perfectly grilled, and topped with butter.
The sharp knife agrees with the meat wholeheartedly as it sliced through easily and that it melts right away with every inch of its fine flavor in my mouth. It was comforting, despite the fact that I had to stand up just to enjoy every slice of it. Soon, however, you will forget about such inconvenience. You will be occupied with all the goodness coming from the steak.
Now, it is your turn to experience this with Ikinari when in Japan.
Unsuitable for vegetarians
Addresses & opening hours: www.ikinaristeak.com/shopinfo
Original link: http://jax.co.id/ikinari-steak/
Photography by Dennie Ramon