Written by Chad Martin
My otaku side brought me toNagoya, Japan in 2012, but I stayed for the food, countryside towns, andgorgeous mountain scenery. I was born and raised on the east coast of theUS, but I dare say I never grew up. I never shut up about Japan.
Matsusaka cattle go through a very unique process to produce the highest-quality beef possible. They are tended very carefully.
They’re groomed regularly, fed a very special mixture of soybean meal, wheat, barley, and beer. Yep. Beer.
It’s said that beer somehow increases the cow’s appetite, adding more fat marbling to the meat. Beer certainly gives us all more fat marbling. It’s pretty interesting to see a cow being fed beer straight from the bottle, but that’s how it’s depicted in some of Matsusaka’s promotional materials.
Another really unique technique is the shochu masssage. Shochu is a type of distilled alcohol made from barley, sweet potatoes, or other ingredients. It’s a bit stronger than sake. Anyway, the Matsusaka cattle get sprayed down with it and then massaged. It not only makes them look glossier and more beautiful, but also makes the meat more tender and sweet.
A couple of pointers for those uninitiated could go a long way. Don’t use the same chopsticks on the raw meat and on the cooked meat to feed yourself. Maybe that’s just common sense?
Secondly, don’t just tend your own meats! Yakiniku is a really fun thing to do with friends. If you’re working the grill, make sure everyone’s meat is cooking well and serve people if theirs appears to be ready.
Some conveyor belt restaurant systems work a bit differently than others. At Isshoubin, the conveyor system was totally enclosed. Pressing a small button at your table opens a window through which you can grab whatever you’ve been eyeing.
Isshoubin Miyamachi Branch
Address: 515-0015 Mie-ken, Matsusaka-shi, Miyamachi
Telephone Number: 0598-50-1200
Check out Isshoubin’s website for more details: http://www.issyoubin.com/