Birthday BEEEEEEF! / 誕生日のぎゅ〜〜う肉!

Yakiniku 焼肉

I don't usually like to write posts that celebrate my own day-to-day personal life events, but this time it seems worthwhile and is relevant to the subject matter of my blog, so please forgive me for this Happy-Birthday-to-me post. Yesterday was my birthday, and to celebrate, my wife took me out for an incredible, amazing dinner!

Kagurazaka Shōzantei 神楽坂 翔山亭
She took me to Kagurazaka Shōzantei (神楽坂 翔山亭), recently-opened in the neighborhood of Hongō (本郷), nearby our home. This new local dining spot is a restaurant that specializes in very high quality yaki-niku, meaning "grilled meat" (焼肉). As indicated on the red Noren , this restaurant buys their meat by purchasing the entire black-haired Japanese wagyu cow (黒毛和牛一頭買) which means they can get very special and select cuts of beef that most places cannot provide. This also keeps their costs lower, a savings which they happily pass along to their customers. Upon being seated at our table, which was in a very modern-japanese minimalist style room, we found a selection of three dipping sauces waiting for us, and we were greeted with complimentary champagne in honour of my birthday, which was a wonderful surprise and delightful way to start the evening.

After getting situated, we got right down to business by ordering a plate of beef tongue, selection of specialty beef cuts, a seasonal veggie plate, some pickles, and I ordered a glass of shōchū (焼酎) on the rocks. The first to arrive were the pickles which were as delicious as they were beautiful, and this wonderful beef tongue.

Beef tongue 牛タン

The vegetables and beef assortment came next and I could hardly believe my eyes when it came to the table! Take a look at this dramatic presentation-- this is absolutely gorgeous and extremely appetizing, is it not!? Honestly this is some of the best beef I have ever eaten in my life. The rich flavour, juiciness and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness were absolutely superb! From this plate, I think my favourite was the "Sasabara" (さだばら), which is outer rib meat from the area closest to the thigh of the cow. This was so incredibly tender and juicy that it was almost unbelievable.

Kagurazaka Shōzantei 神楽坂 翔山亭

After this selection of beef was consumed, we order a plate of "Horumon" (ホルモン) which in English is called chitterlings. This was definitely the highest quality horumon I've had up until now.

Horumon ホルモン

After achieving full meat intoxication we wanted to round off our meal with a bowl of Rei-men, which is very-mildly spicy chilled noodle soup (冷麺). The noodles were light but chewy, and this dish was both delicious and very refreshing after gorging on all that meat!

Rei-men 冷麺

The restaurant space, the food and drink, and the special time with my wife-- one of the best birthday dinners ever!

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