Location: 3-1-12 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Nearest Train Station: Asakusa (Toei Line); Tawaramachi (Ginza Line)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm
Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercards and Amex Accepted
After visiting Bodhisattva Kannon’s Senso-ji temple, my plan was really to dine at ASAKUSA IMAHAN Kokusai Street Head Restaurant. It was a few blocks away from the temple and a Don Quijote store. It wasn’t hard to find because of its tall and large structure.
ASAKUSA IMAHAN is a legend in the art of Sukiyaki with its signature Imahan Wagyu Beef. It has been operational since 1895, and also has another branch at Ningyocho Imahan, run by the owner’s son. The branch at Ningyocho Imahan serves sukiyaki and shabu shabu more expensive than Asakusa Imahan, but the experience is different being where it all started. This particular building has been reconstructed right after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1928, so there’s history deeply rooted in this place that made me choose this restaurant.
When you get inside the restaurant, you will be asked to wait before a table becomes available. Once available, you will be asked to remove your shoes because the restaurant setup is a tatami style of dining!
The restaurant has three floors and there’s an elevator for your convenience.
Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen – 3500yen + 10% service charge
After scanning their menu, I ordered the Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen which includes Appetizer, 90g of Beef and accompanying vegetables.
What I like about Asakusa Imahan is that you’ll have someone in kimono assist you in cooking. She handed me this paper with instructions how to cook your sukiyaki beef, but of course, she’ll demonstrate to you before leaving you on your own.
I was served with some appetizer: assorted pickle and hot green tea, which is welcoming to my tummy especially it was raining outside.
There are three perfect marbling slices of Wagyu Beef in this set.
First pour some sukiyaki sauce, then place the beef slice in the pan. Add the vegetables, vermicelli noodles, and simmer until the ingredients soften. Don’t overcook the sukiyaki beef as it will be tough to chew! Mine cooked for a good 15 seconds only. I watched her before taking the lead in cooking.
When the beef slice is cooked, I dipped it in the raw egg yolk which of course, the server will ask you if it’s okay.
And it was very delicious when dipped in egg yolk! It was sweet, salty and the texture of the beef is very tender and flavorful.
I was fond of eating tofu so I also dipped it in egg yolk! The other vegetables like mushroom and chyouji-fu or gluten will take longer to cook, so best to eat them last.
Three slices of beef will really fill you up with fluffy, hot Japanese rice.
The server will also check up on you from time to time if you’re doing well in cooking. I was quite preoccupied with taking photos so she was polite enough to oversee the cooking.
It was quite an experience since it was my first time sitting on tatami mat, but it was worth it. My feet got numb as I went downstairs and settled my bill.
I’d recommend anyone who likes to eat beef to dine at Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant (better than Ningyocho Imahan). Best to have lunch here after your visit to Asakusa Senso-ji and Nakamise Shopping Street. *thumbs up*
ASAKUSA IMAHAN Rating:
[usrlist “Taste and Originality: 4.5” “Customer Experience: 4” “Value for Money: 3.5” “Brick and Mortar: 3”]