Japan’s standing-room-only steak houses

April 3, 2017

At Ikinari restaurants, in Tokyo and several other cities, low cost but high-quality cuts of beef – including prized wagyu – are eaten at communal standing stations

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Where in Japan can you chow down on a top-quality juicy steak without breaking the bank? At one of the 116 branches of Ikinari Steak, that’s where. The name means suddenly, or out of the blue, and the catch is that this is not a place to take the weight off your feet after a day’s shopping or sightseeing – because you stand up to eat. The restaurant is furnished with communal standing stations instead of chairs and tables.

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You order by weight, at prices that vary according to cut, with a 300g portion of ribeye costing 1,950 yen, or £14 – about half what it would cost elsewhere. The chef cuts the steak to your chosen thickness in front of you, and the menu also includes, in ascending order of price, sirloin, tenderloin and, at about £28 for 300g, prized wagyu beef.

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