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Kyoto

Nikuryori Oka

肉料理おか

Delve deep into the world of exquisite beef at Nikuryori Oka, where the dining experience proves not all wagyu is created equal. Allow yourself to be totally satiated by an unbeatable location in the heart of Gion, a chef who obsesses over aged beef, and the chance to savor and compare three types of steak in one sitting.

Nikuryori Oka is situated in Gioncho Minamigawa, an area popular among visitors for its especially beautiful scenes of teahouses and restaurants. You will be rewarded with quietude in an instant if you wander just one lane away from Hanamikoji, to find this remodeled wooden Kyoto machiya. From the spacious counter seating you can enjoy views of a courtyard garden, which soothes with its seasonal beauty, and gaze into the special aging refrigerator where the raw beef rests on the bone until guests are ready to devour it.

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CUISINE

Delve deep into the world of exquisite beef

The focus of every course at Nikuryori Oka is steak from aged beef carved from the bone just before cooking. For both lunch and dinner, guests choose three varieties of wagyu to taste and compare. They are all cooked over charcoals but with different methods and timing based on origin, number of years of rearing, and extent of aging.

Prior to that crescendo, the chef treats guests to a wonderfully modulated meal that in the thirteen-dish Premium Course starts with an appetizer of seasonal ingredients, like Hokkaido-grown white asparagus topped with a generous helping of caviar. This is followed by consommé made from Hokkaido organically farmed beef, and a hassun dish showcasing fresh seafood delicacies like Omura, Nagasaki uni sea urchin and Maizuru torigai cockle among an array of vegetables, served with a sakura shrimp and strawberry sauce.

Next are two dishes using Omi beef from Shiga Prefecture: fresh beef tongue sashimi served with simmered kombu; and exquisite beef tartare seasoned with onions cooked in warmed beef lard. The chef serves a beef cutlet as homage to the deep-fried skewered kushikatsu typically found in casual eateries in the Kansai region, before taking you on a brief journey to his Italian origins, perhaps with a pasta.

Then it is time to devour your three steak choices chargrilled to perfection. The lavish course comes to a close with rice cooked in a traditional pot and, in summer, a dessert of Miyazaki mango with a fresh milk mousse. It is the ultimate in wagyu cuisine for both lovers of beef and those who think they have tried it all and wish to be wowed anew by beef. Perhaps only here can you select from six or more types the three steaks that appeal most and have them cut from the bone and cooked right before your eyes.

Beneath the steak, charcoals glow at a gentle 30-40 degrees, and the chef tends lovingly to the precious pieces of beef, moving and occasionally resting them until they reach perfect doneness.

You might like to accompany your course with a wine pairing of primarily French wines, or maybe you prefer to sample some sake from the chef’s excellent collection.

INGREDIENTS
The focus is without doubt on securing the safest, best, most delicious beef: A5 marbled wagyu, lovingly raised lean meat, and Gibeef from cattle that graze freely in vast pastures of Hokkaido. The latter is one of very few organic beef varieties in Japan, and its name combines beef with gibier – French for wild game meat – showing the wild and natural context of the cattle’s upbringing.

The person Chef Oka trusts for all of this Yoshinobu Shinho, head of Sakaeya butcher shop and a man who knows everything there is to know about meat. Born in Kyoto in 1961, the son of a butcher, he went independent at age 27. He travels the full span of Japan – from Okinawa to Hokkaido – searching for the best wagyu and then perfectly aging it. Not influenced by brand names or ranks, Shinho is famous for his aging and other techniques that prove the value in cows who have already calved. Shinho has created a network with producers nationwide and his products include Hokkaido Gibeef, Brown Swiss raised in Okayama Prefecture, and Akagyu raised in the wide-open pastures of Kumamoto by Tokai University students.

Fresh seafood and vegetable selections are made after detailed discussions with head chef Yuki Sato. Japanese cockles called torigai come from Maizuru, Kyoto, white asparagus from Hokkaido, and cheese from Yoshida Dairy Farm in Okayama Prefecture. The scrupulousness continues right through to seasonings, including one called hishio, a semi-solid mash that is the ancestor of soy sauce.

Nikuryori Oka cuisine #0
Nikuryori Oka cuisine #1

CHEF

Yoshitaka Oka

Owner Yoshitaka Oka is from Shiga Prefecture, which neighbors Kyoto. Oka’s first job after graduating from technical college was at a local factory, but he later chose to work at cafés wishing to interact with more people. He then left on a trip to every corner of Italy to learn the cuisine, returning to Shiga to open his own Italian café and restaurant in 1996. In the more than 25 years since, he has opened and managed a wide array of eateries, and even a large-scale venue for weddings. But in the aftermath of the global financial crisis Oka changed direction, turning his attention to restaurants focused on local production for local consumption. That was when he met Yoshinobu Shinho of Sakaeya, whose work includes spreading the word about Omi beef.

In 2014, Chef Oka was entrusted with the opening of Prego Tokichi, an innovative Italian restaurant in the Kiyamachi area of Kyoto, which later evolved into Nikuryori Oka. The inspiration for the change came from a steak course Oka served in one part of his Italian restaurant situated along Kamogawa river. With a growing list of fans, Oka wished to serve the meat-lovers in a setting where he could witness their satisfaction, hence the move to his current counter-style restaurant in the heart of Gion.

VISION
Oka wants more people to experience the deliciousness of aged beef and local beef varieties, and therefore wishes to develop his restaurant into a Michelin-star venue. He also has sights on an additional restaurant in Tokyo. His vision extends beyond the walls of his own space to the work of sharing his knowledge and the virtues of aged beef with businesses and cafés.

BEEF

The delicious flavors of beef start to dissipate the moment meat is cut from the bone. Thus, the secret to all the goodness at Oka is this: have the beef supplied on the bone, store it in an aging refrigerator set to zero degrees and 90% humidity, and cut it from the bone immediately before cooking. The difficulty of deboning is the reason more restaurants do not do it this way, but these skills are second nature to Oka after many years working with wagyu. Having trapped in all the deliciousness during aging, the cooking process, heat levels and timing become extremely important. And these are determined by the unique qualities of each beef variety. The best way to enjoy Omi beef rump is to form a crusty surface but leave a sumptuously soft middle. Beef from cattle that graze wild in vast pastures five times the size of the Disneyland needs perfect heating levels to accentuate its texture and distinctive aroma. And the prime rib from cows that have already calved should be heated slightly past medium to bring out a delicious nutty aroma.

Course

LUNCH (12PM)
Oka LUNCH only omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
¥18,500
¥18,500
Reservation Request
Dinner (6PM)
Oka omakase dinner course menu
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
¥31,000
¥31,000
Reservation Request
Dinner (6PM)
Oka omakase dinner course menu (MORE luxurious ingredients)
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
¥39,500
¥39,500
Reservation Request

Kyoto

Nikuryori Oka

肉料理おか

PRICE
¥18,500
~
CHILD
12
& UP
LUNCH
OPEN
MIN GUESTS
1
PERSON
~
GENRE
Wagyu, Gion
ADDRESS
1F, 577-3 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0074
OPEN
Lunch:12PM, Dinner:6PM
CLOSED
Irregular
URL
NA
PHONE
NA

RESERVATION

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