In this edition we welcome Mr. Yoshikuni Matsuzawa, CEO of Ginza Maruhachi Co., Ltd., running a real estate business since 1696 (Genroku 9). Chairing the Environment and Safety Committee at Zen-Ginza-kai, he also contributes to town-building in Ginza.
“When I was a university student, my love for meat led me to work part-time at a yakiniku restaurant. Everyone knows about my passion for meat. Since I started working in Ginza four years ago, I look forward to discovering new lunch spots every day. The three restaurants that I will introduce today have been picked up from my special list of favorites” Matsuzawa-san showed us restaurants in Ginza that serve quality beef for 2,000 yen or less. Each restaurant promises great satisfaction worth much more than the price.
Established in 1927, Yoshizawa serves quality wagyu carefully selected at Japan’s top wagyu market, Tokyo Meat Market by a meat connoisseur. The restaurant buys only whole cows of brand beef, such as Matsuzaka beef and Omi beef. They are also very selective about the texture, fat, pedigree and breeding methods. Asked to take off your shoes before entering the Japanese-style room, one feels very much at home.
“Being friends with the owner, I have been to see what kind of environment Matsuzaka beef is bred in. They feed on safe straw, and are brought up in stress-free cow-first facilities. I also learned that the reason they only use cow beef is that cow fat has a lower melting point. I could see why their meat never left a oily impression.”
Matsuzawa-san often orders “Mizore-yaki teishoku” (1,500 yen excl. tax *with side dish, rice, miso soup, pickles, fruit). “Because it is such a simple dish, the quality of the beef makes a difference. The grated Japanese radish and red meat are refreshening and I never have a problem finishing the dish.”
Their “Sukiyaki nabe gozen” (1,500 yen, excl. tax *with side dish, rice, miso soup, pickles, fruit served in a secret sauce) is a popular prefixed lunch that should not be forgotten. Another pleasant point is that they use the edges of chuck eye roll and top round, so the price is much more casual than it would be at dinner time.
A high-end restaurant that would cost more than 10,000 yen at dinnertime can be enjoyed casually at lunchtime without compromising the taste or atmosphere.
Address: 3-9-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00~14:00 (15:00 on Saturday), 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sunday and Holidays
Established in 1947, Ginza Rangetsu continues to follow the strong wish of the founder, born in Kobe, to “have people enjoy to their fullest the taste from their childhood,” and presents a new Japanese food culture while respecting traditions.
The restaurant accommodates the needs of a wide range of customers, with semi-private seating on the second floor, which has been designed in the image of the homestead of a fisherman boss and chic private rooms and large party rooms.
Recommended prefixed lunches are “Mizore-yaki” and the Japanese-style hamburg steak, which both use select A5 Wagyu. The newly introduced “Special A5 Wagyu Sukiyaki Plate” (2,000 yen, excl. tax) is specially offered in celebration of their 73rd anniversary.
“I usually have the ‘Mizore-yaki’ but this certainly feels like a treat, since it comes with crab, which is just in season. Sukiyaki beef is so soft that you can almost cut it with your chopsticks and makes a divine match with poached egg!” Matsuzawa-san smiled.
Facing Chuo-dori, the restaurant is vet easy to access. Since it is a popular tourist destination, you should book a table if you want to be sure to have a table.
Address: 3-5-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:30~21:30LO (16:00LO for lunch)
Open every day (except for New Year’s Day)
”Wagyu Grill Tsubameya” was opened in 2013 as a new concept proposed by “Tsubame Grill,” famous for its “Hamburg steak”. They are pioneers in introducing the savor of Japanese Black Cattle Wagyu red meat when the market was focused on marbled meat.
With a natural woody interior, the restaurant serves a variety of highly satisfactory dishes in terms of both taste and volume. The “100% Beef Choice Hamburg Steak” is made by carefully compacting meat coarsely minced in the kitchen.
The signatory hamburger steak is a must eat, of course, but as a steak-lover, Matsuzawa-san strongly recommends the “Kuroge-Wagyu Steak-Don” (1,250 yen, excl. tax). The rice bowl is topped with 100g of Wagyu beef, including chuck eye roll and prime chuck flap, varying from day to day, and served with three different sauces – teppanyaki sauce, salsa and steak sauce.
This “Kuroge-Wagyu Steak-Don” was topped with chuck flap (the core part of chuck eye roll), which is a valuable meat part of wich only 3~4kg cuts can be can be derived from one cow. Beautifully grilled medium rare, the meat was crisp on the outside. A combination of both red meat and marbled meat, the meat has a soft and fine texture, which can be enjoyed in different variations with the three sauces.
“An excellent marriage between sweet fat and savory red meat is fills the mouth. Isn’t it amazing that such prime beef can enjoyed for this price?” Matsuzawa-san was excited.
Having beef for lunch in Ginza always seemed to be a luxury, but this would be affordable. The pretty interior design would be attractive for girls, and I would recommend it as a dinner spot on dates.
〈Wagyu Grill Tsubameya〉
Address: 1-2-1 Ginza, Konya Building 1F, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hour: 11:30~14:30LO (15:30LO on Weekends and Holidays), 17:30~22:00LO
Closed during New Years’ holidays