Meat of Kyoto

November 24, 2019

Introduction

          There are many meat restaurants in Kyoto. Recently, there is an increase in the meat restaurants where delicious meat can be eaten cheaply. It is thought that the increase of foreign tourists visiting Japan is also greatly affected. Surprisingly, Kyoto is said to be the prefecture with the highest consumption of beef in Japan.

At this time, we are going to introduce the history of meat in Kyoto and three meat restaurants in Kyoto which we recommend.

          First, it is said that the spread of beef among the common people was due to the appearance of Gyunabe (牛鍋) (Japanese stew using beef), the originator of Sukiyaki (すき焼き) at Meiji (明治) Period (1868 – 1912). After the war, ordinary people were not able to eat beef easily, but now they can eat it readily. So, we will recommend the meat restaurants where beef can eaten cheaply and delicious.

NIKUZAEMON

          This restaurant was just opened in 2017. This is a meat restaurant which has an atmosphere like a cafe. It is very fashionable, so even women can easily enter. There are counter seats and table seats that are easy to use by one person in the restaurant. The main menu items are beef steak, pork steak, rice bowl, curry and a set menu. You can get 200g extra beef for plus 600 yen and 200g of extra pork for plus 300 yen. And SNS campaign is also carried out. If you upload the photo with the restaurant’s information on SNS you can get one free drink (soft drink or beer). Most items on the menu can be eaten for about 900 – 1500 yen.

*Beef steak rice bowl 1200 yen (200g)

The portion size is large and meat is very tender. It uses a slightly hot soy based sauce. You can put some spices; pepper, cayenne pepper powder and salt, you can enjoy different tastes at the same time. (Rice bowl and curry includes a soup and pickles. Pork steak and beef steak includes a rice, salad, soup and pickles.)   

Beef steak rice bowl 1200 yen

TK HOUSE

            This restaurant is a steak house, and which was opened on August 2, 2016. It serves good quality meat for low price. In addition to the matured steak, the steak bowl is also popular. The meat of this restaurant is tender and delicious. Also, there are table seats and counter seats.  Inside the restaurant, it is a clean and spacious with a  relaxed atmosphere.

*steak bowl (ステーキ丼) 1,000 yen

(Only served at lunch time. It includes a salad and soup. A rice large serving is free.)

Meat is very tender.  The sauce of this steak bowl is a little sweet. But this sauce matches rice very well. In addition, you put some fried garlic and some fried onion as a topping, you can enjoy more delicious steak bowl.

Steak bowl 1000 yen

Niku Shokudou(肉食堂)

            A famous Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) store in Kyoto runs this restaurant. So, you can enjoy good meat for low price. At first you enter the restaurant and buy a meal ticket with the ticket vender on the right. After that, the salesclerk will guide you to a seat. Because this restaurant has a lot of counter seats in addition to the table seats, you can go to eat willingly alone. There are a lot of toppings on the table such as garlic chips and red pepper flakes, seven kinds of spices (七味唐辛子). So, you can enjoy the change of taste.

*Gorilla rice (ゴリラ飯) 880 yen

(It includes a salad and miso soup)

This is a bowl which has fibrous meat on rice. Spicy-sweet sauce soaks into the meat. This sauce matches rice very much. And taste becomes mellow when you mix it with an egg. Also, the laver is a good accent.

Gorilla rice 880 yen

Restaurant Information

・Name: NIKUZAEMON (食堂 肉左衛門)

・Address: Second Shinwa Hall F2, 46-2 Kita Yakake-cho, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto

・Nearest station: about 5 minutes from Hankyu Saiin station on foot

・Phone number: 050-5594-5028

・Business hour: 11:00~15:00 (L.O.14;30) / 17:00~21:00 (L.O. 20:30)

・Name: TK house

・Address: 107 Suzaku apartment, 7 Higashi Nakamizu-cho, Saiin, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto prefecture

・Nearest station: about 10 minutes from Hankyu-Kyoto Line “Saiin station” on foot

・Business hours: 11:30~14:15  18:00~22:00

・Regular holidays: Wednesday

・Phone number: 050-5592-4973

・Name: Niku Shokudou(肉食堂)

・Address: 25 Kashiwaya-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto prefecture

・Nearest station: about 5 minutes from Hankyu-Kyoto Line “Omiya station” on foot

・Business hours: 11:45~14:00  17:00~21:00

・Regular holiday: Irregular

・Phone number: 075-754-8282

The History of Meat in Kyoto

By Tsubasa Ota, Kyoka Azuma, Hiroto Takao

Representative meat in Kyoto: Tannbagyu

Tannbagyu

 

The history of meat in Kyoto is quite old.  The first reference to Kyoto beef is over 700 years ago.  It is marked as tannbagyu by the oldest “book of meat” which was written in 1310. “Tannba” is northern part of Kyoto,  and gyu is Japanese for beef. First of all, it is a brand of meat in Kyoto, so all of the cows in Kyoto cannot become Tannbagyu. There are many conditions. Tannbagyu have to be taken care of with professional skills, raised in an environment abundant with nature and drink the clearest water. In 2017, it won an award at the meat industry festival in Tokyo, so it is the one of the most famous brands of meat in Japan for sure. It is said that the rich taste of tannbagyu was enjoyed as long ago as the Heian Period (794 – 1185) by aristocrats. In the Jomon and Yayoi Era Japanese people did eat meat. However, in 675 A.D., Emperor Tenmu prohibited all Japanese from eating meat. This ban was reinforced by succeeding emperors and become a strong taboo, connected to the Buddhist religion. The ban was eventually lifted and in the Meiji Era, Japanese people began to eat meat again.Some of the characteristics of the tannbagyu are really good texture, perfect marbling and fine fiber. These characteristics make tannbagyu much better than other meats among the wide variety of meats in Japan. Furthermore, tannbagyu cows are living in very comfortable locations. For example, they are always waking up listening to cries of birds and sleeping while listening the sou nds of birds, so they are taken care of without any stress. By enjoying a natural life, the flavor and texture of their meat is enhanced.

Japanese traditional meat food : Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki

It is said that Japanese people first enjoyed meat in a  dish called sukiyaki which originated from the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Sukiyaki is kind of Japanese hot pot and a really popular traditional cuisine. One particular feature of the dish is its sweet broth. When we make sukiyaki, we use sugar in the stock, which also contains mirin, a rice wine, and soy sauce.  We cook sliced beef and vegetables in sukiyaki broth. We also add tofu, mushrooms and clear noodles.  We usually eat sukiyaki for special events such as someone`s birthday, payday, New Year’s day and so on. Sukiyaki is a festive dish and expensive to make because of the high quality beef.In 1870, the first sukiyaki restaurant opened in Tokyo, at the same time a location opened in Kyoto as well. They used tannbagyu in sukiyaki. Then, a bunch of people who ate sukiyaki in Kyoto were fascinated. There are slight differences between the Tokyo and Kyoto versions of the popular dish. In Tokyo, they simmer beef and vegetables at the same time. On the other hand, in Kyoto, we simmer beef first and then add vegetables. This is just a slight difference, but when you eat and compare, you might be able to distinguish how different they are.The image of Japanese dishes is often low fat and very simple. However, meat dishes are also popular and easy to procure in Kyoto, which is city far from the sea.  Simple Japanese dishes such as rice balls, miso soup and bowls of noodles are plain next to the excitement of a rich, sweet, aromatic pot of sukiyaki, served on festive occasions.  Although it is sometimes prepared at home, there are many restaurants in Kyoto that specialize in sukiyaki.  Many others feature yakiniku, Korean style grilled beef served with rich, sweet, or spicy sauces.

Kyoto dishes other than Sukiyaki

The famous Katsu restaurant ”Katsugyu”

Kyoto’s cow is now used not only for sukiyaki but also for many other specialties in Kyoto. In Kyoto, consumption of beef is ranked highest in the whole country. This was surprising. In addition, Kyoto Prefecture is ranked highest in the country, for bread consumption. It is said that this is related to the personality and temperament of people who live in Kyoto. One of the famous Kyoto dishes is the sandwich. The most popular of Kyoto’s sandwiches is the egg sandwich, but another one is the beef sandwich, made of cutlets garnished with ketchup on white bread. Furthermore, since coffee goes well with a beef sandwich, Kytoto’s consumption of coffee is also ranked highest in the country. Surprisingly, the purchase ranking of tea is low, at 40th of Japan’s 47 prefectures.Kyoto’s beef cutlet is called “Kyoto katsugyu”. The beef katsu, or cutlet, is cooked medium rare, so that the meat is tender. It is usually served with wasabi soy sauce.  Kyoto kasugyu is spreading in popularity nationwide, and there are already 10 restaurants in the Tokyo area, and in Korea.  Soon, this dish may spread around the world.

There are several kinds of meat in Kyoto.

The exlanation about the meat in Kyoto

Besides Tamba  beef, Kyoto has various kinds of meat. Most of them are Kuroge Wagyu  cattle. They are “Kyoto gyu”,”Kyo no niku”,”Tanba gyu”,Kameoka gyu”, “Kyo tanguro gyu”.  Although Kyoto’s cattle, especially Tamba cows, have a long tradition, they are overshadowed by more famous neighbors. Kyoto cattle farms are sandwiched between Hyogo prefecture and Shiga prefecture, which are both famous for producing specialty beef. So, we  named the high-grade meat produced and raised in Kyoto Prefecture as “Kyoto meat” and sold it as a brand of Kyoto. Breeding is mainly carried out in the Nantan area of ​​Kameoka City, Nantan City, and Kyotanba Town. After fattening at each farm, butchering, packaging and processing of the beef is done in Kyoto city.The history and circumstances of the meat in Kyoto is especially deep. We have continued to raise cows and environment to take care of them from 1310 until now, but until now, we have been changing how to cook them and eat them. Of course, sukiyaki is not only the way to eat tannbagyu. We have a lot of cuisine using tannbagyu in these days. tannbagyu has been made by a variety of dishes. Each dish has a particular advantage when it comes to reminding everyone of tradition. There are many brands of meat in Kyoto, not only the historic tambagyu. In conclusion, the meat in Kyoto has long history and it has been handed down until today. Kyoto meat is soul food for people in Kyoto.