Like most Americans, I’ve been to more than one Japanese steakhouse in my time. You know the ones- with the chef/entertainer grilling up a storm in front of a crowd of hungry diners surrounding the grill. For my final night in Kyoto, I decided to splurge on dinner at a real Japanese steakhouse for teppanyaki. And “splurge” is an accurate description in this case, since dinner cost me about $118 USD. I knew this in advance, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity for the experience to indulge. I went to a restaurant called Mikaku, which is located in eastern Kyoto. The restaurant is pretty easy to find since it is a five minute walk from the Shiijo train stop on the Keihan Main Line. Take exit to Shijo Dori and take a left on Nawate Dori. Take the first left and the restaurant is located on the second floor.
The setup is the same as Japanese steakhouses in America. There is a long countertop in the room with three grills for customers to view their dinner made in front of them. While there are other options for dinner, the main reason to come here is for the teppanyaki. The smallest cut of meat is 100g (3.5oz) and the price goes up from there.
The full meal will get you your choice of size and cut of Kobe beef grilled to your specifications. You are given a bib like you find at lobster restaurants. You start the meal with a soup, which for my meal was Vichyssoise. You get an assortment of grilled vegetables, along with your meat. Japanese Teppanyaki chefs don’t have the same sort of entertainment stage presence like the ones you see in America, but they are no less skilled and professional in grilling your meal to perfection.
This was the first time I ever eaten Kobe beef, and it was delicious. The meat was super tender and practically melted in my mouth. My teppanyaki steak cooked to medium.
After the meat course, you finish off the main meal with a super tasty garlic fried rice.
This meal was a really memorable way to end my trip to Kyoto. This is absolutely not a restaurant you go expecting a discount. Go there knowing you will be spending over $100 USD PER PERSON. But if you can swing it, know it is worth it.