Itoh dining is a Teppanyaki restaurant in Gora, Hakone. It is stated on their website that the restaurant is in collaboration with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa who is a Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur.
From the reviews I read about the restaurant, it seemed like a popular restaurant. I wanted a counter seat so I made reservations two weeks in advance. Upon entering, I was greeted with a warm welcome by a lady staff. The same lady also served my food and introduced each dish to me.
The only downside was that the room was smokey from the cooking. I’m not sure if it was usually like that, or that the ventilation system was not working well that day.
There are lunch and dinner sets, and ala carte available. I decided on the Kuroge Wagyu Steak Lunch for ¥ 3,780 including tax. The set includes a soup, seasonal salad, A4 Kuroge Wagyu Steak, bread or rice, pasta, dessert, and coffee. For those who are not familiar, A4 is the grading for the Wagyu beef, with A5 being the highest.
My meal started off with a mushroom soup followed by a seasonal salad with sweet potato. Next, was the much anticipated Kuroge beef. As I was seated at the counter, I was able to watch the chef prepare the dish on the iron plate. The young chef first smeared the steak on both sides, then took it aside to the non-heated area of the iron plate, cut it into cubes, and placed back onto the heated area to cook the beef further as I requested for my steak to be well done. The beef was served nestled in black pepper sauce and garnished with thin garlic chips, accompanied with a bowl of rice (there is the option of rice or bread). I now understand the hype about Wagyu beef. The beef was juicy, tender, and melts in your mouth! There is no other beef like it! The garlic chips added a nice pungent and nutty flavor to the meat.
Next, I was served pasta with leek, beansprout, and small cubes of beef which was also cooked on the iron plate. The taste kind of reminds me of Aglio e Olio. Lastly, I had a matcha pudding for dessert followed by a cup of earl grey tea.
If you are in the area, this restaurant is definitely worth a visit!
Itoh Dining by Nobu
Opening hours: 11:30AM – 15:00PM (Lunch), 17:00PM- 21:30PM (Dinner)
Address: 1300-64 Gōra, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa-ken 250-0408, Japan