Mar 14, '08

Teppanyaki. Dinners at Morimoto XEX and Keyakizaka

The Kobe beef and the Japanese beef in Morimoto XEX
The Kobe beef and the Japanese beef in Morimoto XEX

If there is another product  (apart of toro) that is uncomparably better in Japan than anywhere else in the world is the Japanese beef. Any, not only the famous Kobe beef. What I found out in Morimoto XEX and Keyakizaka teppanyaki restaurants (each of them has one Michelin star) that other Japanese beef kinds are even better than Kobe.

Morimoto XEX

My first teppanyaki experience here in Tokyo was in Morimoto XEX (7-21-19 Roppongi Tunnel ,Minato-Ku, tel. 03-3479-0065).

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Yes, it is partly owned by the famous New York chef Masahuru Morimoto. Ironically I have never been in his restaurant in Manhattan as I found this chef too commercial (participating in the TV cooking programs and so on), but the concierge of Park Hyatt hotel highly recommended Morimoto not only for its excellent meat but also for modern surroundings. And I didn’t regret even one second that we chose it. Well, except maybe when one of the chefs threw live shrimps on the iron plate and held their tails, (so that they don’t jump) and grilled them alive! (it’s not me who ordered these poor shrimps by the way!!!..)

You sit around the counter where teppanyaki chefs are grilling seafood, beef, vegetables, foie gras, shrimps…

Apart of 200 grams (100 g. each) of Kobe beef and the same amount of Japanese beef, we also ordered “Oyster – foie gras. Sea urchin, seared foie gras and with teriyaki juice.” An excellent and decadent dish. The sweet sauce was melting with seared foie gras, while the oysters and the sea urchin gave a nice touch of the sea…

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Oyster - foie gras. Sea urchin, seared foie gras and with teriyaki juice

The other entrée was “Roasted Ise Lobster. Served with pak choy, black sesame and black pepper sauce”. Pepper was the dominating ingredient, perfect with lobster…

Roasted Ise Lobster
Roasted Ise Lobster
Roasted Ise Lobster
Roasted Ise Lobster

The Kobe beef was extremely fat, much more fat than the Kobe beef I ate in NY or Paris. Excellent, of course, but next time I would take only 50 grams of Kobe beef as it is the same as you would eat foie gras or bacon. On the other hand, the “Japanese beef “(the exact name of the origin was not written on the menu) was very tender and not too greasy. To give an idea how tender the beef was, imagine slicing warm butter – this is how they were cutting the beef into small cubes on the iron surface…..

Kobe beef
Kobe beef
Kobe beef
Kobe beef

Keyakizaka

Keyakizaka in Grand Hyatt hotel was as good as Morimoto XEX, but more tranquil… A very pleasant place and “less show off” than Morimoto XEX.

Keyakizaka
Keyakizaka

Keyakizaka proposes few kinds of beef (from Hokkaido, Saga, Iga, U.S., Australia…) except Kobe. For example, we took Iga beef (Iga, like Kobe, are a region of Japan). The Iga beef was very tender but also leaner, more  “healthy” than Kobe. It was simply served with grilled peppers.

Iga beef
Iga beef
Iga beef
Iga beef

The entrée I would insist you taking – “Fruit tomato, basil, olive oil”. The tomatoes were slightly heated on the iron plate and served with hot bacon, soya and olive oil and pine nuts sauce”…

Fruit tomato, basil, olive oil
Fruit tomato, basil, olive oil
Fruit tomato, basil, olive oil
Fruit tomato, basil, olive oil

Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream… My kind of dessert 🙂

Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
Ananas flambé with tequila and coconut ice cream
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