Dinner at Nikuryori Oka

Dinner at Nikuryori Oka

at Nikuryori Oka on 14 December 2023
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Nikuryori Oka, located in the historic Gion district of Kyoto, is a restaurant that offers a unique and exceptional dining experience, focusing primarily on beef dishes, particularly A5 marbled Wagyu beef.

The cuisine at Nikuryori Oka centers around steak from aged beef, carved from the bone just before cooking. The restaurant offers a dining experience where guests can choose from three varieties of Wagyu beef for both lunch and dinner. These varieties are carefully cooked over charcoals, with specific methods and timing adjusted based on the beef's origin, age, and extent of aging.

The menu at Nikuryori Oka is diverse and carefully curated. It begins with an appetizer of seasonal ingredients, followed by a consommé made from organically farmed beef, and a hassun dish featuring fresh seafood and vegetables. The meal progresses through various beef dishes, including Omi beef from Shiga Prefecture and a beef cutlet, before culminating in the main course of chargrilled steaks. The meal ends with a traditional rice dish and, in summer, a dessert featuring Miyazaki mango.

The restaurant's focus on quality ingredients is evident. It sources A5 marbled Wagyu, lean meat, and Gibeef – a rare variety of organic beef from cattle that graze freely in Hokkaido's vast pastures. The beef is supplied by Yoshinobu Shinho, head of Sakaeya butcher shop, known for his expertise in aging and sourcing the best Wagyu across Japan. Some of his dishes are as good as it gets, for example the steak tartare. Before the seasoning the meat, he stir-fry the onions and beef fat together to raise the temperature. The dish then gets finished with soy-sauce, olive oil and salt. It gets served a slightly lower than body temperature to have a cool feeling on the palate. His sirloin Katsu-Sando is one of the best I have eaten in Japan. Delicious, juicy and luscious. Perfectly cooked it melts in the mouth and conveys a sense of luxuriousness, richness, and sensory pleasure. The main course Omni Beef from Shinho-san has been dry aged for 20 days, but still feels very fresh and has the typical smell of an Omni beef.

Owner and chef Yoshitaka Oka has an extensive culinary background. After learning Italian cuisine in Italy, he returned to Japan and opened his own Italian café and restaurant in Shiga in 1996. Chef Oka's journey led him to focus exclusively on steak restaurants, particularly aged beef, culminating in the establishment of Nikuryori Oka.

The restaurant's intimate setting, with seating for up to 10 guests at the counter, offers a view of the kitchen and a traditional Japanese garden. This setting, combined with Chef Oka's dedication to his craft, makes Nikuryori Oka a destination for those seeking an exceptional Wagyu beef experience.

Beef Kaiseki
9 / 10