Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ikinari Steak; Throughout Tokyo

If you live in the Tokyo area (including the parts of Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba touching Tokyo), it is hard not to have noticed Ikinari Steak locations popping up everywhere like daisies.  I had been intrigued by these steak shops and looked into their windows more than a few times.  Each time, I witnessed the same, standing diners with white-paper bibs on greedily cutting up and wolfing down chunks of beef. 

Not long ago, I found an Ikinari Steak at of all places, the food court at Koshigaya Laketown Mall in Saitama.  I decided to see what all the hype was about and got into the line to get myself an Ikinari steak.

Ikinari Steak in English and Ikinari Steak in Japanese too.
I saw the sign!
In front of the line, I was greeted by a sign explaining how you order your steak.  First, you pick your cut of beef.  They have rib roast (American beef) @ 6 yen a gram, sirloin (American beef) @ 7 yen a gram and filet (Japanese beef)  @ 8 yen a gram.  Next, you pick the size of your steak, measured by weight in grams.  If I remember correctly, 200 grams is the minimum-sized steak you can purchase.  Finally, you pick how you like your steak done.

When I got to the front of the line, I chose the cheapest cut possible and the minimum weight as I didn't have much cash on hand and didn't feel like using the credit card.   I requested them to cook my steak medium rare.  They also asked me if I wanted anything else with my steak.  I chose the salad set, which included a small salad and a cup of soup.  Each set was something like 300 yen.  Most of the others around me chose the rice set with a cup of rice and a bowl of soup.  I watched as the man who took my order took out a knife and cut my steak from a bigger piece of meat.  He then weighed it.  It was 215 grams.  I was given a pager-type device and found a table.

In about 7-10 minutes, my buzzer went off and I got my steak.  It was served on a cast-iron hot plate, on top of a pile of corn and onions.
Here she is...
The steak was a little bit overcooked and was much closer to medium than medium rare. Perhaps that was because the 200-gram cut was a little on the thin size. If I had a little more cash on me, I would have chosen the 300-gram cut.  If that happened, being thicker, it likely would be cooked closer to my liking.  However, my steak was seasoned very well and didn't require any sauce.  All in all it was a nice dinner that didn't give me that too-full-feeling.  The most difficult part of the steak was the that not more than two weeks earlier, I had enjoyed this 28-ounce beauty of a porterhouse at the Boathouse at Disney World in Florida.  The Ikinari steak just couldn't compare with the Boathouse steak.
My brother-in-law ordered the steak and we all shared it.
In any event, I will return to Ikinari in the not-so-far-future as the prices were reasonable, they cut your steak right in front of you and well, it tasted pretty good.  I give Ikinari Steak four rib-eyes out of five rib-eyes for its convenience and uniqueness in food preparation.  Thanks for the read!


  1. you mentioned about 3 times in the article you didn't have much money. Note to Jason - get more than 3,000 yen out each time when you go to the ATM!

  2. you mentioned about 3 times in the article you didn't have much money. Note to Jason - get more than 3,000 yen out each time when you go to the ATM!

  3. Lol. It's that whole process of trying to survive with the previous week's money until that precious Monday when I have a full week of allowance. Too bad I hit Ikinari on a Sunday night.