Kobe beef is a bit like French Champagne: a high end product of national pride with the name reserved only for the real thing. Sparkling white can be made anywhere but Champagne comes only from the Champagne region.
Kobe beef only comes from Kobe, Japan.
The cattle are from a strict genetic strain, raised within a geographic region on specific feeds and with handling methods that include massage and careful grooming.
The result is the fattiest and most succulent and certainly the most expensive beef anywhere.
Selina suggested we take a train to Kobe for a steak.
“One less thing on the bucket list, Dad.”
We found a place that prepared the beef in the teppanyaki style, literally on orange-hot iron plates.
This beef can cost well over $200 a pound at retail, so it is cut and weighed out carefully.
It is skewered, salted and grilled to take up charcoal flavor.
Then it is sliced and piled on the hot plate, covered with white onion and a bit of spinach...
...a touch of red onion...
...a few deep fried potatoes and a big pat of seasoned butter.
Then the chef douses it with some flammable liquid and all hell breaks loose.
It literally cooks from the top down and the bottom up.
The restaurant just filled up with smoke! It was kind of hilarious, but wow.
The food continues to soften all through the meal until everything on the bottom is a warm puddle of pure, beefy succulence. I’ve never tasted anything like it.
When I opened my suitcase on return that smokey steak in Kobe filled the loft.