The buzz: Operated by the same family for more than 80 years, this Japanese restaurant from Gion district in Kyoto is known for its expert selection and preparation of premium beef teppanyaki. Now, third-generation owner Kenji Mita has opened the first branch of Mikaku outside the motherland.
The decor: Being a teppanyaki restaurant, it’s set up so that diners can sit at the counter and watch the chef cook their meat right in front of them. There are only three rooms in this minimal, wood-dominated space. The main, and biggest, room seats 12, while the other two private rooms, which can be combined, seat four and six people at a time. The decor is clean and calming, while the low ceiling enhances intimacy levels and the leather-upholstered chairs add a touch of elegance.
The food and drinks: At this branch, owner Kenji also mans the grill himself. Selecting only A4-5 graded wagyu from Kobe, he hand-slices the tenderloin and sirloin to what he describes as the perfect thickness and cooks them using his family's signature techniques. There are four set menus on offer, each differing in how the beef is cooked: steak (tenderloin or sirloin) at your preferred level of doneness, melt-in-your-mouth oilyaki (3-5mm thinly sliced tenderloin, served piece by piece), shabu-yaki (grilled super-thin sirloin) and sukiyaki (soft-boiled super-thin sirloin). The sets are served along with an appetizer, soup of the day, green salad, garlic fried rice, Japanese pickles, clear soup and dessert. Prices start at B3,500/100g. There are also a couple of seafood options, including king crab (B3,000) and maguro steak (B2,500). The drink list covers Japanese beer (from B120), sake (from B800), sweet plum wine (B320/glass, B2,300/bottle) and wine starting at B330 by the glass.
Why you should care: If you’re serious about the origins and preparation of your red meat, you can rest assured Mikaku serves up certified Japanese beef prepared according to generations-old recipes.