Imafuku is located in an odd spot in Minato, Tokyo. It’s right next to a bunch of different apartment complex and an oddly quiet area for a sukiyaki spot.
There’s a big bull like head sculpture on the building and it’s a two stories. The first thing you will notice once you enter the restaurant is the meat locker. I decided to check these guys out for my authentic sukiyaki experience. They’re a one Michelin star restaurant, which means they have to be pretty darn good. But is it?
Unfortunately, per the waiter, it takes a while to prepare their Shabu Shabu and Sukiyaki and needed to be pre-ordered. There was nothing on the website or reservations process indicating either of these things. He also told me it was illegal to drink on the streets of Tokyo. At that point, I was thinking “Okay… This guy is totally fibbing cause other locals told me it was okay. In addition, I seen people drinking beer can after beer can outside of the Shinjuku station while cops walked passed them.”
However, I get it. He’s a local. He probably thought I was there to exploit the city, be obnoxious and raise hell like every other American that came before me. In addition, the U.S. military doesn’t have a very good reputation in Asian cities where there are military bases. Anyway, our dining experience lasted less than 50 minutes cause I had reservations at Gen Yamamoto for cocktail tasting. To the waiter’s credit, he did expedite our dinner per our request. Therefore, I just shrugged off his tall tales and didn’t consider it into my review.
Now, the food. Imafuku is definitely one of a kind. They serve nothing but A5 Japanese Wagyu. A5 is the highest rating you could get for Japanese beef for those unfamiliar with the rating system. Japanese Wagyu and Kobe Beef is the best beef in the world. It’s not the low grade American Kobe Style that everyone mistaken for authentic Japanese Kobe. It’s not the Wagyu/Kobe stuff you get from David Blackmore in Australia. It’s a step well above the rest. For the ladies, it’s the Chanel of beef.
We went with the Sukiyaki and it came with about 200 kg of Japanese Wagyu per person. I eat A5 Japanese Wagyu on a regular basis so I wasn’t really surprised by the marbling, buttery flavor and texture. However, the thing that blew me away was the egg dipping sauce, warishita and the whole sukiyaki experience with the wagyu. It’s incredible mind-blowing and umami on the palate. The Wagyu is cooked in its own fat first and the iron nabe really capture the essence of the beef then the warishita was added to the nabe.
Per the waiter, the sukiyaki is Kansai style. The warishita was dark in color and the aroma was heaven. The beef was dipped in the egg sauce and added a sweetness to the flavor of the beef. The egg dipping sauce was foamy and truly umami. It wasn’t too thick but it was enough to cover the beef in additional flavors. The veggies were cooked in the warishita sauce and added to the egg dipping sauce. The veggies were able to maintain it’s crisp crunch and you could tell how fresh the veggies were. Furthermore, the medium rare of the beef will make your mouth have an orgasm. Party in your mouth. Seriously.
Overall, hands down. Imafuku was the best Sukiyaki experience I’ve had in my life. The attention to detail, the quality of the beef, warshita, egg dipping sauce and the prompt service makes it a must stop in Tokyo. Luckily for us Angelinos, Imafuku has a sister restaurant in Los Angeles named Yazawa. Check here for the review.
Check out our other Tokyo articles here.
- Service - 8/108/10
- Presentation - 8/108/10
- Flavors - 9/109/10
- Decor - 8/108/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
Imafuku is a bit away from the bars and night life of Tokyo. However, Imafuku is a decadently rich sukiyaki experience one must try at least once in your life. The marble covered A5 Japanese Wagyu and the silky sukiyaki sauce is a blessing on your palate. The high-end products will reaffirm why Japan has the most Michelin rated restaurants in the world.