Posted by: tonkatsudelights | January 12, 2008

Steak House Satou – Value for Money Matsuzaka Beef

So many things I want to blog about my 3 weeks in Japan, and yet so little time. But then again, if I never start, it will never be done. And so I start with one thing that is near and dear to my heart, or to be exact, ehm… my taste buds. 🙂

During the time I was in Japan before, be it on business trips or during my 9-months stint in Kobe, I’ve always loved to eat Japanese food. Kobe beef teppanyaki, yakiniku, or tonkatsu. They are simply heavenly!

This time, unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to eat the Kobe beef teppanyaki in Kobe. We came to Hotel Okura Kobe to eat at the Sazanka restaurant, however, we have to switch to another restaurant as the waiting time in Sazanka is about 2 hours without reservation!

Luckily, there is an alternative in mind. Steak House Satou in Kichijoji, Tokyo. A very small eatery on the 2nd floor of a popular meat shop. It is very very small. By my rough calculation, the place is a 16-seater. Six seats on the counter, and 10 table seating.

Its location is not the easiest to find, but it’s not that difficult either. We take the north exit from Kichijoji station, entering the busy shopping street in Kichijoji, and find the busy meat shop at the first junction.

Kichijoji shopping street

Kichijoji shopping street (or market, to be exact?). The shopping scene here is very much local, or neighborhood-kind of shopping.

Satou meatshop & steakhouse

We find this busy meatshop first, and when we look up… voila! there it is… Steak House Satou.

The entrance to Steak House Satou. Just climb up the staircase and you’ll find the restaurant right away!

We arrived at the restaurant at almost 4pm in the afternoon, and there was no queue, unlike lunch and dinner time. When we came, lunch was already over so we need to pay according to dinner price, which is higher. However, they are also having “Today’s Special” price for the set that I want to order. It’s 8,400 yen for the Matsuzaka beef set (180g Tokusen Sirloin set), complete with salad, rice, soup, pickles and drink. For drink, you can choose from tea, juice, sake, and wine. And I can tell you, this is a really good price for a Matsuzaka beef set. A high-end restaurant in Roppongi, such as Seryna, will serve similar set in the price range of 23,000 yen per set! Okay… probably similar is a misleading word. Seryna definitely served a more classy set. But I don’t think Satou falls short in terms of their beef quality.

To provide a balance, and to also clearly distinguish between the Matsuzaka beef vs. regular beef, we also ordered Ume set, which is the cheapest set in the menu. At 1,575 yen per set you will also get 180g of regular beef steak, salad, rice, soup, pickles, and drink. The choice of drink is similar to the Matsuzaka beef set, however, you can’t choose sake.

Salad for Ume set and Tokusen Sirloin set

What you see here is the salad for both sets. The bigger bowl is for the Tokusen Sirloin set, whereas the smaller one is for Ume set. Both sets come with the same rice, soup, and pickles. They provide two kinds of sauce for you to eat the beef with. One is fruit-based, and the other one is vegetable-based. At the end of the day, the beef here is good. We tried with or without the sauce, they are still extremely nice!

Ume set, which is regular beef. If you only taste this beef without tasting the Matsuzaka beef, you may say that it tastes nice. However, the moment you eat the Matsuzaka ones, you’ll recognize the difference!

Tokusen Sirloin set

And this, is the Tokusen Sirloin set, which is Matsuzaka beef. Both sets are done the same, i.e. medium. It also come with similar set of vegetables with mushrooms being the only notable difference (besides the green veggie that I did not eat).

Similar to Kobe beef, this beef also has fats spread out in the meat, instead of separated. The meat is more tasty than regular beef, tastes very soft and almost melts in your mouth!

However, since the fat content of the Matsuzaka beef is also higher vs. regular beef, if you eat it too much, you may get full easily. Good thing for us, we shared both sets. And the regular beef proved to be a nice balance vs. the Matsuzaka beef, so that both of us do not feel stuffed at the end of the meal.

My verdict? Steak House Satou is great Matsuzaka beef at value for money! I would definitely recommend people to try and I would definitely come back again when I have the chance. You may argue that 8,400 yen per set is still quite pricey. I know another restaurant in Kobe which I frequented in the past that served Kobe beef at 4,000 yen per set, however, that was a lower grade Kobe beef. The higher grade fetches slightly lower price vs. Satou’s, but they only provide coffee or juice as the choice of drink.

Just a word of caution, though, for all of you ladies who are very specific about not getting your hair and clothes smell of food. If you come to Steak House Satou, especially if you sit in the counter seats, there is no way for you to avoid it. Nowhere in the restaurant can you escape from the smoke that comes from all the cooking.

Steak House Satou, we will come again!



  1. Wow, I really enjoyed reading about this restaurant, and loved your pictures of the Japanese food. I live in the Middle East and we don’t have any Japanese food available here, but I did enjoy it years ago when I lived in the United States. Are there any good Japanese cookbooks you would recommend that could be ordered from Amazon?

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

  2. Another must-try is their beef balls. The juicy beef mixed with sweet onion = heaven! But be prepared to queue up!

  3. I ate here three or four years ago. Its great. I was actually trying to find directions to here for a friend of mine in tokyo. So thanks for putting up the review!

  4. […] (photo as left, source: […]

  5. On our trip to Tokyo, we went to Satou based on the recommendation in the article.It was a fantastic experience with amazing Matsuzaka beef. Big thanks!

  6. Thanks for your recommendation. My wife and I tried tried the place out today. We had the best steak ever! So we’re clear on how to get there, it took us a while to find it, at the Kichijoji train station, you should take the Central Exit, (there is no North Exit) outside the station, facing the road, bare North i.e. look slightly to your left and you will see two narrow pedestrianised shopping roads. Take the one on the left. About 100 metres away, at the pedestrianised crossroad, is the Steak House, directly above a butchers shop. The steaks now cost 10000 Yen ($130). They do not take credit cards, so take plenty of cash. Happy eating!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: