Oustanding meats and grills restaurant in the heart of Tokyo
Dons de la Nature is a restaurant in Tokyo specializing in steak. Its owner is also the head chef who does not allow more than 3 tables to be in house at any time as it is just him cooking. This visit was specifically made to try what tuned out to be the holy grail of beef in the form of Matsuzaka. This is a region, roughly 2 hours south of Tokyo and is a beef that uses female virgin cows only as they haven’t been through the stresses and strains of pregnancy which improves the quality of the meat and has less testosterone in the meat as well – another enhancement. In short this is the best beef I have ever had in my life and was even better than the Kobe beef had in Kobe. Details are below but please take my word for it that this is a dream for beef lovers.
All of the menus here are handwritten to my surprise and gave an immediate impression of everything being personalized to immaculate detail. Indeed it was with the head chef greeting us personally as we came in as the only two people in the restaurant on arrival. The restaurant itself is in the heart of Ginza (which is practically the equivalent of Mayfair as a swanky area of Tokyo) and can hold up to 22 people at full capacity but the chef chooses not to do this. You might wonder how it would be possible to survive as a business in this case, but hold out for the prices of the menus.
We started with a simple crab and shrimp cocktail which was a light and pleasant way to start the meal. These were fine but more of a necessity to stomach levels than anything else. What we really came for was the beef and there were three kinds: Omi, Hokkaido Hidoki or Matsuzaka. We opted for the highest grade of all, as recommended by the chef. 400g of Matsuzaka was priced at 40,000 JPY (£281), 500g priced at 46,000 JPY (£323) and 600g priced at 52,000 JPY (£365). Considering that the 400g could be enough for one person, this will help explain why the chef may not need every table taken all the time based on the price per head.
We opted to share a piece of 500g Matsuzaka which, for a piece of beef no larger than the average adult hand is quite expensive considering it was £161 per person just for the beef. BUT, all that simply fizzles away in to insignificance when you realise you are enjoying the rarest and finest of beefs on the entire planet which this was. The fat content of the beef was extraordinary and the flavour of the beef was basically indescribable. That is the only way I can actually describe this experience – as indescribable(!). The flavour of the beef was simply at the Everest of beef flavours you can imagine and the perfect crunch of the skin gave it a texture like no other beef had. I simply wish you were there to have this and have this experience.
The vegetables on the side were purely functional to offset the fat and protein with some form of other nutrients to ensure no one OD’d on fat, so these were basically picked at purely to level off the proceedings. A couple of glasses of French reds were also enjoyed and this rounded off everything for absolute completeness.
Desserts were not necessary as we basically did not want anything else on the planet to distract from what had just been had and leave on the legal high that I was floating on by the end of the beef. The total bill came to just over 69,000 JPY which worked out as £242 per person. This is an expensive meal obviously, but frankly there are far more expensive meals out there and compared to those ones that have in some ways only been so-so, I would pay this for that experience again in a heartbeat.
You may think, “Why the score is not at a 100% after all the strong descriptions?”. A very fair point but there is an explanation: the whole score is based on all food factors including visual impact and technical skill, where this meal obviously is lower than many, so one has to take it as a whole meal. But, it remains one of the highlights of the decade based on the raw perfection of the ingredients and great cooking – I thought Kobe was the best and it turns out that there is a higher being in the form of Matsuzaka. This was the greatest beef of my life and one of my most cherished food memories of all time.
Food Grade: 85%
Location (Click google logo for directions)