Kobe: Wakkoqu

Those who follow this blog will know that Kobe beef on a menu will attract me like mosquitoes to a fly light. This is the most revered the type of beef which all other mortal beef will cower over. Since Kobe was only an earshot from Osaka, where I was staying, not going there and tasting some A4 or A5 Kobe beef was just insane. INSANE!

This was somewhat of a last minute reservation for my Japan trip, compared to other restaurants which I planned ahead for up to 3 months. When I made the reservation via email, I received this cryptic reply:

In a reservation, the truth, thank you.
On the following date and time, I heard it.
I wait for the staff, all members.

Whatever. I decided stop by anyways to try my luck. It was conveniently located on the 3rd floor of a mall right next to the Kobe Shinkansen station, where I was just getting off the train from my morning trip to Hiroshima. Upon arriving at the restaurant, I was relieved to hear that they recognized my reservation and I was led to one of the many teppanyaki stations around the restaurant. A quick scan around the restaurant revealed that quite a few of the clientele are foreigners, probably attracted by the welcoming English section of their website, I just hope this wasn’t a tourist trap as I sat down.

Cow Tongue. The course started with the promising cow tongue. I’ve had cow tongues before but never this many servings at once, so this was quite a treat. These things had the most amazing and refined texture ever. It was paired with some sweet, tangy sauce but I didn’t feel it was necessary because it was too acidic.

Salad. If you play World of Warcraft, this was like the trash mob before the raid boss. Even if you don’t, who cares about how it tastes, let’s just get to the kobe beef!

Wakkoqu Special Selected 220g Kobe Tenderloin. I forwent the Act I Normal 150 g Sirloin from the standard Wakkoqu Lunch set (which is what most people got) and skipped right down to Act IV Inferno: the ultimate Kobe Tenderloin 220g course set. The chef strategically placed the magical marbled slab of beef in front of me to stare at. And there it was, silently calling out to me……

Watching the chef skillfully cutting and slowly grilling the beef was like watching a performance.

The chef used a block of fat to grease up the hot plate. That’s how they roll in Japan.

The intense marbling and the skillful grilling led to a piece of medium rare beef that was tender and packed a flavorful punch. Many seasoning were available: salt, pepper, mustard, and freshly grilled garlic chips.

Towards the end, the chef chopped up the remaining bits of beef and mixed it with grilled rice.

I was expecting the rice to be hard and crunchy, but it was fluffy and soft. The small bits of beef and scallions helped season the dish.

Honestly, the best kobe beef I’ve ever had was the one I got from Nikuya and pan fried myself at the home. I mean, I’ve already had not one, not two, but three beef courses in this trip alone that were already better than this. I just felt that the the unique buttery texture and flavor of kobe beef can be better accentuated through other cook style – maybe this could be the case if I had picked a proper, local grill restaurant off the beaten path? In any case, if you’re a foodie tourist staying in or near Kobe, having Kobe beef is a must and Wakkoqu isn’t a bad place to do just that.

Snapshot:

Name: Wakkoqu (Shin Kobe Branch)
Address: 3F Shin-Kobe Oriental Avenue 1, 1-Chome Kitano-cho Chuo-ku Kobe-City (Map)
Phone: +78-262-2838
Web: www.wakkoqu.com
Menu: Link
Dishes You Must Try: Kobe Tenderloin
Tabelog Rating: 3.64/5 (out of 29 reviews, as of this writing)
Finest Dish’s JAPAN™ Quality Rating: 3.5/5
Finest Dish’s JAPAN™ Service Rating: 2.5/5

JAPAN™ Ratings: The average food and service quality in Japan far surpass the same we have in Vancouver, it is only appropriate that they should be rated on a different scale.

Gallery:

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