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Being a fan of a medium rare slab of steak is essential to the manly man's diet, but I had to fork out quite a bit for a good piece in the most expensive city in the world. Now that I'm in Tokyo, the meat god has shined a light on my never-ending quest for good cuts of succulent beef. My successful search for a great apartment has also landed me within 10 minutes walk of Ikinari Steak, a standing steak restaurant that offers large pieces of steak at crazy value.
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For lunch, they offer a 300g steak set, with soup and rice, for only 1200 yen. Standing restaurants and meat are simply salaryman's staple, and sure enough, the Shinjuku branch that I visited was dominated by hungry salarymen in cheap suits. A short queue which had me peering into the shop looking at salaryman in their bibs feasting on large steaks got me even hungrier.
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The wait for the steak was made pleasant by large, red stacks of juicy meat being grilled and portioned in front of you. You don't get a choice of doneness, but they serve the steak medium rare on a hotplate and you can just wait for it to be the way you want it.
My steak came fast enough and I was in awe of it's size, looking majestic topped with creamy butter spread. You shouldn't expect one of those super soft cuts that your teeth can sink right through, that would probably cost an upwards of $70. However, I can confidently say that Ikinari Steak offers the best steak that you can buy at that price. Salt and pepper and steak sauce are available table side so you can season your dish the way you want. You can refill your rice once, so would definitely leave with your stomach stuffed. I couldn't eat dinner after such a champion lunch.
I would recommend meat lovers to pay a visit to this place at least once during your next trip. Eat lunch and save money on dinner. I was tempted to go back the next day for another serving of that amazing steak.