We have been touring Japan for the past 10d (Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo), so as an escape from all of the sushi and ramen, we decided on a good steak dinner as our last meal. Upon recommendations from family members and friends, this was the place to go to for Kobe beef.
The restaurant itself was located downstairs from a street that was no larger than a typical alleyway in the US. Our family of 4 was seated in a private room that was minimalistic with modern touches. We learned that the name of the restaurant, 511, comes from a combination of the highest quality grade of A5 beef along with a marbling score of 11 (with 12 being the highest). It’s very rare to be able to get a cow with grade A5 and level 12 marbling according to our host.
Four kaiseki options were offered, and our family chose various ones. Kaiseki is the Japanese version of a multi-course set meal, and my course contained no less than 8 different dishes. We also ordered an additional 100g cut of Chateaubriand (the best and most expensive option) for comparison tasting. I’ve never had Kobe beef offered in so many ways, from dumpling style, to tempura style, to sushi style, to standard flame grilled. The group agreed that the Chateaubriand was the most flavorful and most tender, followed by the sirloin, then the tenderloin... but all cuts were fabulously better than any prime steak at any premium steakhouse in the US. I did not need a knife to cut into my steak, and it did literally melt in my mouth! I would consider this restaurant to be fine dining, and the prices reflect that, so splurge if you can.
This meal was the cherry on top of our Japan excursion!
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