You’d hardly guess it now, but I was raised in a family with lots of dining restrictions. The only proteins I grew up eating were chicken, turkey, soy, and occasionally fish if I was at a restaurant. I didn’t really start eating beef until my mid twenties. It look a long time to develop a taste for it, and I’m still not really enthusiastic to down a slab of American-sized steak.
Coming to Japan and tasting proper Wagyu changes that, quite a bit. Here was intense flavor, in condensed little bites. I grew to really appreciate beef, when done well. The quality of the product and the skill with which it’s cooked here is unlike any I’ve seen elsewhere.
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of dining at a restaurant that might have changed my perception of beef again, an exposed a new dimension. Nikuya Tanaka, in Ginza, presents an incredible tour of what can be done with beef. Raw, marinated, konbujime, binchotan grilled, roasted, and more. The quality of the meat was so high, many of the dishes reminded more of very good bluefin tuna, with a bright acidity I’m not used to in beef.
Also, unlike some restaurants that specialize in one main ingredient, the rest of the tasting menu was up to the same quality. No filler dishes or subpar courses. A superlative meal from start to finish. Thank you, @boss.tanakasatoru.