Akasaka 4-3-28 ,
Dear Plaza Akasaka,
B1, Minato 107-0052, Tokyo
phone: +81 3-6685-051
Dress code; causal smart – $$$$
Without a doubt did I have my best meal in Tokyo at “511’s Kobe Beef Kaiseki” – I found out about the place through Tripadvisor. Located in a very nice area of Akasaka/Roppongi. But if we hadn’t taken a taxi we would never have found it, because it’s tacked away on a backstreet and located in the basement of the building.
The entrance was stunningly beautiful with waterfall and strategically placed green plants in beautiful pots. All ready when I stepped out of the taxi and saw the restaurant sign, I knew we were up for a treat.
As we enter the restaurant, that was quite busy, we had a welcoming from all the staff and I also think the owner was present at the greeting. Had booked table through Opentable, that quite few restaurants listed in Tokyo – but their website is on Japanese. Can also reserve from the restaurant website.
The very contemporary table setting really appealed to me. The Maître d’, a very tall and entertaining man, started first to explain what 511 meant. He gave us a cut map of a ox and explained all the different cuts. He also explained the restaurant name; 511 comes from that they are only use meat of the highest quality – A5 grade beef with a beef marbling standard value of 11. And the meat is outstanding, it melted on our tongues.
At 511 they are using special heath oven that reaches a temp. of 1,000°C – and that give the meat a fragrance and a very juicy core.
The thing was that he couldn’t really pronounce SIRLOIN right and me being me – I tried to get the pronunciation right for him. It never came to my mind that I could had humiliated him (he are after all Japanese) in any way, but it could had gone really wrong … but he was the man for the job. And we got many good laughs together through the evening.
We went for the set menu …. and we didn’t regret our choice. The food was presented like beautiful pieces of art. I didn’t take any pictures because the light wasn’t right, so the the images wouldn’t do the dishes justice.
Your menu for the evening was to a fix price; 13.400 yen/$108/£72/€100/925SEK
Grilled Kobe-beef and sea bream with onion puree
Domyoji and Kobe-beef in dashi soup
Deep-fried Kobe-beef and vegetables wrapped by tofu skin
Eggplant and Kobe-beef stewed with grated radish
Hearth-baked Kobe-beef steak
Kobe-beef chirashi-sushi / miso soup
With this we enjoyed an outstanding French white wine, Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Ler Cru Clavoillon 2006 and a fully bodied red from Carmel Valley, USA Georis Estate Merlot Carmel Valley 2004. Truly great wines and we had a glass of each. The price on the wine was very good … 70% cheaper than what I would have paid for the same wines here in Sweden. And all restaurants in Tokyo had the same pricing level on wine per glass.
I couldn’t say what the damage came to, because it was my friend Nancy that picked it up. But it became one of the big spender meals during our trip. We only had 3 in total during 21 days, so!!! Plus that we had truly enjoyed the most expensive meat in the world.
A young waitress came up to us as we where leaving and talked little Swedish to me, very cute.
The Maître d’, he escorted us to our taxi and just as we was going to leave I opened up the taxi door and …. said “sirloin” to him.
After my return home I made a postcard from one of the few images I took … and sent it online by post to the restaurant with only one word written on it – SIRLOIN!
If ever visiting Tokyo, this is the restaurant to open the wallet for. The whole package was tasteful, high quality, fun and relaxing. So what is Kobe Beef???!!! The most expensive beef in the world. The cattle is massaged, feed on apples, given beer and listens to music during their days, but Wikepedia also tells us this.
Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ Kōbe bīfu?) (KO-BEH) refers to beef from the Tajima strain of wagyu cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture according to rules as set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association. The meat is a delicacy renowned for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture.
The cattle are fed on grain fodder and brushed sometimes for setting fur. The melting point of fat of Kobe beef (Tajima cattle) is lower than common beef fat.
Wagyu beef is much higher in unsaturated fat. It has high levels of oleic acid, the fatty acid in olive and canola oil that has been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol. Tajima cattle are fattened longer, living about 26 to 32 months, compared to 18 months for US beef cattle.
Part of the high price is due to the fact that there are only about 3,000 head of cattle that may qualify as Kobe. In Japan, all cows, not just those that end up as Kobe beef, “can be tracked via a 10-digit number through every step of its entire life cycle.
Food images provided by and thanks to the restaurant (a511.jp)