Eating beef in Japan was reserved for very special occasions in the past. This resulted in some of the most atypical cattle raising practices on the world, and some of the most remarkable meat. It is therefore not surprising that Wagyu (i.e. Japanese beef) has become some of the most sought-after meat in the world. It’s intensely marbled meat, distinctive taste, and smell, and most importantly the remarkably tender texture coming from the high fat content make it an absolute treat to eat.
Whilst Tokyo has some extremely expensive, and exclusive beef restaurants such as Kawamura or Aragawa, there are a number of places that even mere mortals can visit. One of them is Kamon in the Imperial Hotel.
Kamon is very different to the aforementioned restaurants, as the beef is prepared right in front of your eyes, as are most of the other dishes. The reason to come here, however, clearly is the beef. Sourced from various origins throughout Japan, the beef served at Kamon is indeed very, very fine. The fine-grained, liberal marbling almost explodes in your mouth after being grilled on the teppanyaki. The combination of this meltingly tender meat, with the very crunchy, caramelised crust is absolutely magnificent, and really does not need anything else by way of condiments or garnishes. Coming here for a piece of grilled meat is already worth its while.
Kamon, however, does not only serve beef. The menu will mostly start with a couple of smaller dishes, featuring seafood or fish. One such dish is sea urchin, sea bream, and tofu served atop savoury custard. Remarkably balanced, allowing the quality of the produce to shine, such dishes re remarkably complex, and well-balanced dishes that show that the kitchen here clearly knows what it is doing.
Kamon is not a restaurant that most food lovers will place very highly on their to-do list in Tokyo. And yet, it offers a glimpse of how special Japanese beef can be without breaking the bank like at Aragawa or Kawamura. That, combined with its very capable starters, and good service makes it worth a visit.