Tell anyone you’re travelling to Kobe and the first reaction you’ll probably get is “Kobe beef!”. When I visited Kobe 5 years ago, all I could do was watch longingly as others enjoyed this famous marbled beef. But not anymore. Thanks to Misono Kobe, you can enjoy halal Kobe beef at its place of origin! Trust us, it’ll be one of the most unforgettable meals you’ll ever have.
1. Originator of teppanyaki
One of the best ways to enjoy Kobe beef is teppanyaki, which means grilling on an iron plate. Not only is Misono Kobe the very first restaurant to introduce halal Kobe beef, it’s also the originator of teppanyaki beef steak so you know you’re at the right place ;) In fact, this restaurant has been serving teppanyaki since 1945! The main store is also the site of the original Misono store, so you’re truly getting the full experience.
Wondering what’s teppanyaki like? Picture this. You’re sitting in front of the iron plate, watching the chef expertly prepare the food and then cook it on the iron plate right in front of you. It’s like watching a graceful performance and an experience not to be missed in Japan!
Our chef was friendly and attentive, answering all our questions and explaining each step along the way – preparation of the vegetables, followed by the highlight of the night, Kobe beef, and finally garlic rice.
There were 5 types of vegetables served and our favourite was the giant sweet, juicy mushroom sourced from the mountainous area in Kobe.
As for the garlic fried rice, it was as life-changing as the Kobe beef. It was fried with beef fat and it smelt so good. In fact, it was so delicious that we ate it on its own.
2. The only restaurant serving prime cuts of halal Kobe beef
We admit, this Kobe beef course isn’t cheap and that’s because Misono Kobe is the only restaurant serving prime cuts of halal Kobe beef. Kobe beef is actually produced from pedigreed Tajima breed cattle, born and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture. The meat has to pass a series of strict requirements and only the highest grades of meat with exceptionally high levels of fat marbling earns the Kobe beef label, which is a strictly-guarded trademark. Misono has the halal certificate for each of the Kobe beef cattle. As there are very limited number of halal ones each year (and even fewer premium cuts), this explains the higher price!
Fun fact: We learnt from our chef that contrary to the popular rumor going around, the cows in Hyogo Prefecture are NOT fed with beer nor massaged with sake!
The halal Kobe beef sirloin course that cost ¥35,000 (excluding tax) comes with a seafood appetizer, salad, a plate of fried vegetables, 150g of halal Kobe beef sirloin steak, garlic rice and fruits for dessert. It was difficult not to have high expectations but the beef was better than what we imagined.
Well-marbled, tender and flavourful beef served lightly seasoned with pepper and salt. The beef literally melts in your mouth! The chef recommended for it to be prepared medium-rare and he achieved that perfectly.
We might sound like a broken record by now but the food was seriously AMAZING!
If you’re dining with your kids, there’s a hamburg steak set (halal Japanese domestic black beef) available at ¥2,000 (excluding tax).
Do note that a reservation is needed at least one day in advance. Drop Misono an email at [email protected] with your name, date and time of reservation, the number of people and your choice of course! Also, please note that there will be a 10% service charge for dine-in after 5pm. Head over to Misono's website for more information!
3. Unbeatable location with an amazing view
When we travel, that long drive or commute to the restaurant might be inconvenient. Well, the good news is that the Misono main store is conveniently located just a 2-minute walk away from Sannomiya station (Exit 1)!
Alternatively, you can get to the restaurant by from the central gate of the JR Sannomiya station or a 2-minute walk northwards from the west gate of Sannomiya station on Hankyu Railway Kobe line.
You can head straight to the restaurant for a well-deserved meal after some shopping at the shopping street or our favourite Tokyu Hands nearby. The district is also the main business and entertainment area of the city and is well connected on the JR line to Osaka, Kyoto and Himeji.
Oh, did we also mention that the restaurant is located on the 7th floor? This means you get to enjoy the stunning view of the bustling area as you enjoy your meal! The intimate and cosy atmosphere is perfect for celebrations with your family or friends.
4. Other meals available – seafood!
Want to try a variety of food? Misono also serves seafood teppanyaki! You can enjoy abalone, lobster, scallop or seasonal seafood served hot off the grill.
We tried the scallops, lobster and fish, which were all incredibly fresh! Our favourite was the lobster which had a creamy, buttery taste with a hint of smokiness. Do note that the type of seafood is subject to availability and the season.
Misono also offers a halal seafood course that cost ¥20,000 (excluding tax). It comes with an appetizer, salad, fish of the day, 5 different types of fried vegetables, lobster, garlic rice and fruits for dessert. Lobsters are either sourced from Japan or overseas depending on the season. To enhance the flavour of the dishes, the chef specially prepared a special concoction of halal beef tallow and butter as a seasoning for some of the dishes. If you wish to change to vegetable oil (for health or other personal reasons), do let the staff know during reservation and inform the chef before he starts cooking!
Since the course is limited in quantity, we would advise you to make a reservation in advance! Do also note that there is a 10% service charge for dine-in after 5pm.
5. Extra care to look after Muslim guests’ needs
Not only is Misono the very first restaurant in the world to serve halal Kobe beef for Muslim guests, you can also be assured that they pay utmost attention to the way their food is prepared! The restaurant is located on 7th and 8th floor but only the 7th floor has iron plates that are specially reserved for the preparation of halal meals.
Disclaimer: Do note that alcohol is served in the restaurant, we advise that you dine at your own discretion.
While Misono also serves non-halal meat on the 7th floor, you can be sure that they take extra care. For non-halal meat, it’s usually prepared on the grill on the table but the halal meat is prepared on an elevated grill, to ensure that the meat is never mixed. The staff also showed us their kitchen and how their food, cooking utensils and cutlery are all separated in the cabinets.
Of course, if you request, they are also able to show you the halal certificates for the Kobe beef!
If trying Kobe beef isn’t already on your bucket list, we hope you’re now convinced. It’ll definitely be a life-changing meal (and experience!) you’ll never forget!
This article was brought to you by Misono Kobe.