Friday, July 10, 2009

Steak Seitou, Tokyo

July 16th, 2009. 8:33 AM. Ding has pointed out that the reason I couldn't find the website for this place was that I was spelling it wrong. A thousand pardons.

Ahhhh, Japanese people are really into things. I love that cliche, especially when I get to live it.

One of my newer colleagues recommended Saitou as the place to go for steak lunches around the office. I know most people don't feel like they need a steak for lunch, but if you eat enough brown rice, you'll get there too. And they're small steaks, don't worry. But the shop is really into their steaks.

I'm afraid I can't understand some of the concepts - for instance, why are there lots of pictures of Italian people on the walls? You'd think there was maybe some connection to a wine importer, perhaps, but it's hard to tell at lunch. Mainly the idea seems to be that you can get wagyu steaks (Wow! Koby Beef!) for lunch, and it'll be sizzling hot on a griddle, and it will taste good, and these are noble concepts under my worldview.

Choose your lunch - single or double steak (single was enough for me) on the aforementioned sizzle-plate, or hamburger done the same way, or hamburger stewed in gravy, or steak-don (which looks popular and interesting - they cook the steak, then plate it in a huge laquer bowl over rice and topped with salad and seaweed). The steak was a little awkward to eat; the waiter was annoyed that I didn't know the routine, which is to spread your napkin partly on the table, partly on your lap, to catch the fat flying off the grill from the still-cooking meat. And the grill plate was packed with bean sprouts, which I find to be an unnecessary encumbrance. But the oroshi ponzu-like sauce (which had some extra oil in it, maybe sesame) was very nice, and the meat was good quality, especially when you consider that the whole thing cost $10.

I think this is recommendable as an infrequent lunch destination with some deep old-school charm, but I wouldn't be inclined to hit it for dinner. Can't find a web site either. You can find this place in the Nihon Building, across from the Tokyo Station bus terminal. And then you too can get really into their unique style of steakitude.

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