Enjoy the finest of meats prepared at your table in traditional Japanese style at this recently opened gem a short train ride south of Tokyo.
Located a five-minute walk from the Motomachi-Chukagai Station in Yokohama, newly opened Ikuta restaurant is the latest venture by the restaurant group behind Tokyo’s popular Kappo Tsuyama. Ikuta specializes in preparing shabu-shabu and sukiyaki made with the finest cuts of domestic cattle. Diners are able to choose from a variety of beef brands, all pedigreed, including Kobe beef, Matsuzaka beef, Saga beef and Ishigaki beef. The shop tries to offer different brands of meat every day of the week. Set meals as well as course meals are available, and rest assured, restaurant staff will assist with your shabu-shabu and sukiyaki making so that you can concentrate on eating! Customers are also able to choose their meat and make requests based on marbling as well as specific cuts of beef. Highly marbled pieces of beef are very tender when cooked, while less marbled cuts can be chewier. Vegetables are domestically grown and the eggs come from hens that have experienced a life of freedom (they’re free run) and music (yes, chickens listen to music—don’t be surprised if your egg gets up and dances on your table!).
The menu is available in Japanese, English and Chinese and the shop has Englishspeaking staff. However, it is also helpful to do your research beforehand about the various options so that you can make an informed choice when selecting your meat and meal. Shabu-shabu and sukiyaki are closely related dishes—thinly sliced, high-quality meat, vegetables, shiitake mushrooms and sometimes tofu cooked on the tabletop and served with various sauces for dipping. Sukiyaki is cooked skillet-style, often in a cast-iron pot, and the broth is seasoned with soy and sugar giving it a sweet and rich flavour. Shabu-shabu is cooked hot-pot style, in a large pot of broth, and tends to be the more savoury of the two dishes. Sukiyaki in Japan is often eaten by dipping cooked ingredients in raw egg.
Ready to try some for yourself? At Ikuta there are a variety of tables to choose from, from those perfect for an intimate date, to larger tables and party rooms. Throw your next party in the party room (two rooms that seat up to 12 people together), and the restaurant will provide you with an extensive list of possible meats to choose from.
Lunch is served daily between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, starting at ¥1,000 per person (approximately $12). Course meals as well as shabu-shabu and sukiyaki are also available starting at ¥3,000 per person for domestic beef (or ¥5,000 per person for Wagyu beef). If you’d really like to eat like a king (or queen), do order the eight-course omakase meal that features eight different dishes (¥20,000 for two people, or approximately $240). Additional meat or vegetables can be added to any course meal for a few dollars more. And for those on the go, prepared lunch box options are also available for preorder, and can be delivered to nearby hotels or businesses.
1. Ikuta’s Japanese-style hamburger meat gozen This superb Japanese-style hamburger meat is prepared with as little filler as possible in order to maximize the original taste of the beef. Served with your choice of Western-style and Japanese-style sauces. (Lunch menu, limited to 10 orders.)
2. Kuroge Wagyu galbi bento box Ikuta’s delicious grilled Wagyu beef lunch box. The meat used here is the same as the branded beef provided at the restaurant. This is a great take-out option when the weather is nice. Go and explore Yokohama with this boxed lunch!
3. Ikuta’s omakase seven-course Shabu-Shabu meal This option lets you enjoy a variety of Ikuta’s specialty meat dishes, including shabu-shabu, pictured here. Ikuta offers various brands of domestic beef to try. Ask your server for details.
151-11 Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
OPEN: Daily 11 am–11 pm (*Food last call 10 pm *Drinks last call 10:30 pm)