With all it’s pomp and fanfare Japanese Beef or Wagyu has a reputation for being expensive and high quality fodder. Non-Japanese will no doubt have heard of Kobe beef, which is one of the “Beef Brands” in Japan, though I gather Matsusaka beef is generally considered the bee’s knees (or cow’s knees) now-a-days with Kobe beef more fobbed off on the foreigners for export instead.
Typically Wagyu earns it’s reputation as an expensive meal from Yakiniku, or Shabushabu (see our podcast episode on Japanese cuisine types), which normally prices all but the most reckless cheapo out of the experience, however the trusty Japanese “hamburg” (basically a hamburger without the bun) can offer the cheapo a handy way round this at Nikushokudo Tobi.
There are a good number of Hamburg joints around town, plus you’ll find them a staple at the “famires” (family restaurants) like Denny’s, Johnathons etc. But for quality you’ll want to hit up a specialist establishment such as Niku Shoku Do (肉食堂).
Niku Shoku Do has two shop lines, “Tomo” (智) and *”Hi” (飛) and as far as I can tell they are basically the same – teppan (鉄板) or iron pan hamburg. If you’ve never had a teppan burger before then you’re in for a cheapo treat. Prices are very cheapo friendly, with burgers starting at 550yen, though the standard size (pictured above) was 650yen, and when your order arrives the waiter/ress will give you a bib to put on to sheild you from the spattering fat coming of the still sizzling burger in it’s iron pan.
For ease of identification, here’s some images of their signage:
* actually I’m not sure of the correct reading of 飛, I forgot to ask. It’s the same kanji as tobu 飛ぶ – which means to fly