Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ikinari Steak

Location: Ikinari Steak

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  1300 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dish:  Steak Teishoku
English Menu:  None
Smoking:  No

Ikinari Steak is also a recent addition to the Yokosuka food scene.  Formerly the location of Ringer Hut (Nagasaki Champon style ramen), the restaurant has only been open a week.  It's a chain, but not one I've had the pleasure of trying yet.

I'm not a huge steak person, but I do like a hunk o' flesh now and then.  I'm also a cheapo, which means most steak is out of my price range.  So this place was made for me!  It's kind of like fast-food steak, and they mean it...there are no seats.  You stand and eat your meat.

The lunch menu is pretty simple from what I could tell.  I took some pictures this time so I'll try and post those later.  It was either steak or hamburg (a sort of Salisbury steak thing that most Japanese restaurants serve).  I think all the main dishes come with a small plate of rice.  If you get the teishoku you can also have salad and soup.  I got the teishoku.

The environment is pretty cozy, with up to 3 per side of the counters.  I was slotted on the inside close to the wall, and soon another "hitori" diner (1 person/alone) was positioned on the outer edge.  We never had to deal with someone between us, which would have been *very* cozy indeed.  The downside to all this is that the people across from you are kind of just...right there, staring at you.  Sometimes.  Well, that never bothered me, but these folks were a little...I don't know...country?  Very enthusiastic about their meat, they wolfed and smacked it down with gusto.  They also had a slight cough, and either one would explode periodically with seemingly no thought to where they were.  Not even an after attempt to cover one's mouth was detected.  So...there was that.  Not a fault of the restaurant at all, but something to consider.  I guess if we were afraid of germs we'd never leave the house, so I just dealt.

The salad was a rather sad, limp affair.  Dressing was available but nothing special.  The soup was in a small cup but surprisingly flavorful.  It wasn't miso...some kind of clear vegetable soup, but lots of umami and small bits of carrot and maybe daikon in there.

I dutifully tied on my paper apron, as I have experienced the way the sizzling steaks are sometimes presented...popping all over your shirt.  I have few enough without stains, so I figured I'd better be safe...I was glad I did!  300grams of rare meat (I wasn't asked, but I presume I could have told them how I wanted it), precut into strips, with some corn, and a brown swirl of what tasted like butter but was maybe mixed with something else on top.  I scraped this around and added wasabi and garlic paste from the counter toppings.  For my money, it was quite tasty.  Not the super fatty, deliciously soft Japanese steaks, but more like the chewy US and Australian varieties.  Some of the meat was still quite raw, which I like.  Some good fatty bits too.  I was very glad for the rice which I prefer to potatoes and bread.  There was some "steak sauce" to pour on from a small metal pitcher.  I tasted it before hand and it was not like A1 or Worcester sauce.  Very thin, more like a soy sauce consistency.  I liked it, so I poured it over the plate and got out of the way of the column of steam that resulted.

I thought the amount of food was perfect and I was pleasantly full afterwards, not stuffed.

A note on payment...I always like to see if credit cards are accepted as it minimizes how much cash I have to pull out in a given month.  I asked and was told that yes they accepted cards.  But when they tried to swipe/insert mine, it didn't work.  I know it works, I've used it other places, but maybe they really meant that they accept Japanese cards and not all cards.  I paid cash and all ended well.

Overall a great addition to the options available locally here.  It won't be everyone's cup of tea with the tight quarters and the standing, but if you have a hankering for a reasonably cheap hunk o meat, this should fit the bill!

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