When in Kobe, Eat Kobe Beef!
When people say the word Kobe, most people automatically associated the word beef. Kobe beef is considered a delicacy because of its flavor, marbled-texture and price. But what exactly is Kobe beef?
To be considered Kobe beef the meat needs to meet a number of requirements, including being born, raised and processed in the Hyogo prefecture. Kobe beef is rarely found out of Japan, although starting in 2013 small portions have been exported to other Asian countries; so if you ever see it labeled in the US or elsewhere, it is most likely not actual Kobe beef.
The cost of Kobe beef is high, but at least a lot of restaurants will make an experience out of your meal.
Walking through downtown Kobe we spotted many places serving Kobe beef, so we picked one that showcased the many awards they had won. We choose the cheapest option, which was an 8-course meal.
It started with creamy soups, fresh green salads and crab salad on toast. Even the crab tasted better than anything I’ve ever had in the US.
Not long into our meal, the chef came out with the raw beef on a platter. They had each of us take turns inspecting the beef, and with our approval they took it away to be cooked. I can say this truly was a first for me.
Even raw the beef looked perfect with a bright, juicy-looking hue and beautifully marbled texture.
Another course was soon brought to the table. It was a plate of bean sprouts that had been sautéed with the leftover Kobe beef bits and fat. I hadn’t been a big fan of sprouts before but these were extremely delicious, although probably not at all healthy.
Then, what we had all been waiting for had arrived. Our perfectly cooked Kobe beef with a bit of grilled vegetables and different meat rubs and sauces. We were provided some soy sauce and miso sauce, as well as garlic chips, salt, pepper and wasabi to use with the meat.
I decided to try my first bite free of any distractions. The minute I put it in my mouth, the meat fell apart instantly- it melted in your mouth. I don’t think I have ever tasted anything so flavorful and tender in my life.
While the meal might have been great for our tastebuds, it wasn’t so great for our wallets. Despite this, I would do it again and recommend anyone else to try it as well, because when in Kobe, eat Kobe beef!
2-1-17 Shimoyamatedori, Chuoku, Kobe, Hyogo
[posted by Beth]
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