When I was in Tokyo in April I went to the teppanyaki restaurant Okahan in Ginza. Teppanyaki is meat or seafood and vegetables prepared by a chef using two spatulas on a griddle right in front of you. It is really tasty and very easy to love.
Sometimes the cooking includes show-offs such as cutting through piles of onion rings or juggling ingredients in the air, and sometimes, the chef just prepare the food without too many gambols.
The best teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo only serve grade A5 wagyu from the best beef brands, and the meals are expensive, but at lunchtime most places offer less expensive lunch set menus. The best cuts are saved for the dinner serving, but the beef quality is still superior to most other beef outside of Japan, and if you haven’t had wagyu before, even the lunch deal would probably blow you away.
I arrived at Okahan 15 minutes after they opened for lunch, but the restaurant was already full, so I put my name on the waiting list and 20 minutes later, I was assigned a seat.
My name was the only non-Japanese name on the list, so I got a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with the staff, but it turned out that several staff members, including the chef cooking my food, spoke an excellent English.
Okahan is known for Matsuzaka beef, which is one of the premium wagyu brands in Japan. It’s not Kobe wagyu, but I’d doubt that you’d be able to taste the difference, if you’re not a seasoned wagyu-eater.
I had the superior lunch set (3600JPY), which included a salad, two kinds of wagyu steak and a cup of green tea. The chef even prepared a kind of gravy in a small pot on the griddle, which I ate as a soup (not sure it was the intended way to eat it).
The grade A5 beef was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and while I wanted to eat it, while it was hot, I also tried to eat it really slow to enjoy each bite to the fullest.
Okahan Honten, Ginza Kintanaka Building 7-8F, 7-6-16 Ginza (across the street from the Shiseido office), Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tel: + 81 (0)3-3571-1417, Hours: Lunch: 11:30am-1:30pm, Dinner: 5:30pm-9:30pm. Closed on Sundays
Address in Japanese: 東京都 中央区 銀座 7-6-16 銀座金田中ビル ７F/８Ｆ