Review #3: Satou

2 December 2015

I had to head out to dinner earlier than usual from my hotel as my dinner destination was a bit further than usual, in the suburb of Kichijoji. My lunch at Asakasa Tan-Tei had been fabulous, but my shopping exploits were less successful in the afternoon. I ran across town twice and then headed to Shinjuku to catch the train to Kichijoji.

My frequent readers will have guessed where dinner was tonight, as I’ve been out to Kichijoji twice before. This was my final dinner in Tokyo, and I was looking forward to revisiting my favourite place in town, Satou. I had been dreaming of the Matsusaka beef since my last visit in January — when the meat was so ridiculously good I ordered a second steak

I got there and they didn’t recognise me, but I took a place at the edge of the 4-seat counter. They seemed to be busy already. I ordered my usual, the sirloin. I also ordered a whole bottle of red, anticipating a night of beefy excess.

I relaxed with some of the pretty boring house red, but anticipating the steak. Odd, chef didn’t show me the meat beforehand like twice before… Then the item was cooked in front of me, smelling wonderful. But there was just something a little different about it… I had more wine and wasn’t paying too much attention when they brought my dinner to me.

steak - 01

I took a bite, awaiting that same orgasmic feeling I had before…but nothing. What happened? It seemed to have been cook badly and the beef tasted extremely ordinary — not the amazing stuff I’ve had before. I noticed it was overcooked at times and chopped up way too quickly, so it cooked through too much. Oh dear…

steak - 02

I really was not enjoying this. The marbelling seemed far less than before. Still a good piece of beef, but nowhere near what I had before. I was going to enquire until I noticed that some French organisation named this place as the 3rd best steakhouse in the world, and I swore in my head…damn, these guys got some notice and are now taking short cuts.

I noticed that the meat was pre-trimmed and all put into a bag, and there was just not the care for the beef like before. In the past they would bring each piece up straight from the butcher. Now it’s all pre-done. The trimming was not kind and damaged the meat’s integrity.

I ate so slowly the chef clearly noticed, and I can see him looking uncomfortable watching me struggle with the steak. The mystique is gone. What had been an automatic re-visit is now no more. Took me another half hour to finish the meat slowly and take down the terrible red wine. I think he remembered who I was, the guy that did the 2 steaks last time…and he saw my utterly disappointed face.

I paid and walked out very unhappy. I can’t believe this place, a place I’ve boasted about and told everyone about, is now cutting these corners and producing a rather inferior product. Forget it, I’m not coming back again…

Oh, what a sad end to my Tokyo trip…I am really saddened by this…

Satou [サトウ]
1-1-8 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino-shi
Tokyo, Japan

PS: To make things even worse, I dropped into my “local” near my hotel, Hinaiya, and had a terrible time. They messed up my skewers and order and I walked out after just one round… Last night was a perfect night. Tonight was a shitshow clusterfuck. Sigh… Not what I want to leave Japan remembering…

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One thought on “Review #3: Satou

  1. Pingback: My Top 10 Dishes of 2015 | melhuang1972

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