Posted by: nancycurteman | February 23, 2012

The Kyoto “Kobe Beef Experience”

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If you visit Kyoto, don’t miss the “Kobe beef experience.” I say experience because you’re not just paying $125 for  a meal, you’re paying for an extravaganza.

There are several restaurants that serve Kobe beef. We went to a small one in Gion, Kyoto’s  famous Geisha district. We arrived at the restaurant at about eight p.m. Our dining area consisted of four long tables set in a square around a large central food presentation space. Several other diners sat around the tables. There was one other American couple and the rest were Japanese. However, language was no barrier as we all partied together.

One non-English speaking Japanese family was celebrating a birthday. We spent time toasting them. Everyone took turns buying drinks for one another. I learned to like sake. By the time we’d eaten and drank our way through several courses consisting of salad, grilled shrimp, and fried potatoes, all around the table were feeling pretty jovial.

After we finished the melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef, the chef appeared. As he entered the presentation area we all applauded him then gave him a drink. He danced about and sang a little Japanese tune. We thought he might keep a little nip next to his cook stove in the kitchen. We found out later that traditionally, every time a group finishes a meal, the chef comes out and joins them in a little liquid refreshment. Since we were the last group of the evening, the chef had already had a few drinks. He frolicked with us until closing time. Before leaving, we shook his hand and praised his expert culinary skills.

That was our Kyoto “Kobe Beef Experience.”


More About Japan:

Kyoto: Celebrated for its Geishas


  1. I was fortunate enough to have a kobe steak in Bangkok. Yes, I know, not the traditional venue, but it was the most amazing steak I ever had. There is much I miss about the orient… especially the wonderful people!


    • Kobe steak in Bangkok. Not so surprising. I got a message that you can get it at a restaurant in San Jose. It’s a small world.


  2. Sounds like a jovial dinner . . . but I’ll pass on the Kobe beef.


    • Everyone at the table joined in the fun. We somehow got beyond the language barrier.


  3. Kobe beef seems to be the gold standard for steaks. I wonder if it would be as good in the United States. I’d like to find a restaurant in San Francisco that serves it.


    • I got a message that you can order kobe at Alexander’s. It may be in San Francisco.


      • Art, I found out Alexander’s is right beside Vallco Shopping Center in Cupertino. Bon appetit.


  4. I can attest to having a great steak in Kyoto. Kobe beef is had massaged and given beer to mellow the meat. A kobe beef is very tender and nearly a sweetness to taste.


    • I guess the massage and the beer is what brings up the quality and the price of the kobe beef.


  5. […] The Kyoto “Kobe Beef Experience […]


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