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Kobe Plaisir Ginza: Marvellous Kobe Beef Restaurant In Tokyo [PR]

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To experience Japan's legendary Kobe Beef, Kobe Plaisir Ginza in Tokyo is a first-rate choice. They specialize precisely in Kobe Beef prepared teppanyaki style.

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Kobe Plaisir Ginza

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Kobe Beef stands out as one of Japan's most iconic delicacies, and that says a lot in a country with such a rich and diverse cuisine.

If you're in Tokyo and are looking to experience the sublime taste of this legendary beef, then Kobe Plaisir Ginza should most definitely be a place to consider visiting.
The restaurant is just a few steps away from the A3 exit of Ginza subway station (Ginza line, Marunouchi line, Hibiya line), on the top floor of Ginza Place. Upon entry, the spacious atmosphere, stylish clean-lined design, and warm lighting will sooth you.
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You're then seated by a kind staff that will really get out of their way to make you feel welcome if you're a tourist.

The counter seats of this teppanyaki restaurant are impressive, to say the least. In case you're not familiar with this cuisine, "teppan" in Japanese means steel plate, and "yaki" means to cook. The chef stands at the center of the table equipped with a large teppan, and the patrons surround him, giving them the best sight of the chef in action. Seeing him masterfully prepare each item you order is one of the reasons why teppanyaki is so wonderful.

The Kobe Beef Experience

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There are many kinds of exquisite Japanese cattle known as "wagyu". Kobe Beef is one of them and is widely recognized as the pinnacle in terms of quality and taste. Kobe Plaisir Ginza only serves Kobe Beef - it's in their name after all.

You can enjoy the precious delicacy as part of a course or à la carte. For instance, the 200g Kobe Beef Sirloin is ¥20,000 and there is a course that includes a piece of 120g for ¥16,800.

Once your order is placed, the piece will be presented to you on a plate as pictured above. The first thing you will notice is the beautiful marbling. This is a key characteristic of Kobe Beef. To be certified as such, Tajimagyu, a kind of wagyu from Hyogo Prefecture, has to present a high amount of fine streaks of fat between the lean tissue. It takes the utmost care by the cattle farmers for the meat to achieve this quality. Only around 5,000 Tajimagyu a year are certified Kobe Beef according to the strict rules set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association.
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Needless to say, the cooking of this meat by the teppanyaki chef is done with the utmost care as well. To maximize the flavour, instead of cooking the meat immediately, the piece is placed on a raised grilled over the hot steel plate so that it reaches a higher temperature. As it warms slightly, the meat will change to become a deeper red.
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Meanwhile, you can enjoy some beautiful and tasty entrées made with seasonal ingredients. The restaurant prides itself in using many quality ingredients that come primarily from Hyogo Prefecture, for which Kobe is the capital.

The paté pictured above has a delicate kumquat purée and a crispy piece burdock. This is just the right opening for the pièce de resistance that is to come.
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Vegetables presented on your plate are cooked first. The seasonal onion here is incredibly sweet so only a light seasoning is enough to make it a delight. There is also a fresh, huge asparagus and a good a piece of bamboo shoot, which is a spring delicacy in Japan that you must try. Even though the specialty here is obviously meat, the vegetables are actually worthy of a high-end vegetarian restaurant.
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The chef then starts cooking the Kobe Beef sirloin. One thing that is striking as it cooks is that the oils of the meat barely come out. Apparently, this is because the streaks of fat in Kobe Beef are plentiful but very thin, which means that the fat content responsible for giving the tender texture of the meat is locked into the piece.
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The meat is only cooked briefly on both sides which is the perfect way to enjoy Kobe Beef. Just as was done for the vegetables, the piece is only seasoned lightly, leaving the center stage to the natural refined flavours of the meat.

Interestingly, there is actually scientific evidence to explain the exquisite taste of Kobe Beef. The marbling is not the only reason. Indeed, the incomparable flavour is also due to a high content of inosinic and oleic acids in the tissue.
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Once the meat is cooked and you're anticipating what is sure to be one of the best sirloin steak you've ever had, the chef proceeds with the cutting. Kobe Beef is so tender that the knife slides through it as if it were butter.
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It is then placed directly from the steel cooking plate to your plate cut into bite-sized pieces.
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It's served to you with an assortment of special condiments. You can first taste the meat as is, and then change the flavour with some condiments. In this picture, the condiments included a red wine-infused salt, onion purée with salted koji (traditional condiment), ponzu (Japanese citrus-based sauce), wasabi, black soy miso, daikon and leek.
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The fat of Kobe Beef has the particularity of melting at a low temperature so the first thing you'll notice when you bite into a piece is how tender it is and how all the locked-in flavours just spread in your mouth. It also has uncomparable deep-flavoured umami and a refined sweetness that come from the leaner tissue.
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All the condiments that are presented with the plate harmonize perfectly with the Kobe Beef, giving every piece a different accent.

Order the Kobe Beef Sirloin and you will definitely understand why it is often referred to as being legendary.
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Once you're finished enjoying the sirloin steak, the Kobe Beef Carpaccio is a side dish you might want to try as an extra. This one is not made teppanyaki style but rather by a sous-vide cooking technique which makes the meat very tender and flavourful. It's surprisingly affordable too at ¥3,000.
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All the while you are enjoying your Kobe Beef experience, you should, by all means, try the house's premium quality sake served to you in beautiful Edo kiriko cut glasses. They have a rich selection and the staff can recommend some pairings.

Lastly...

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For a special occasion, or if you simply once want to discover the pure delight of tasting one of the world's most acclaimed delicacies, Kobe Plaisir Ginza is a place of choice. Unlike other high-end Japanese restaurants which may feel sombre and a bit intimidating to go to if you're not Japanese, this place is particularly welcoming to foreigners. You're bound to have one of the most pleasant and memorable gastronomical experiences of your life.
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