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Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse


Born the son of a butcher, Katsuya Wajima calls himself a “meat specialist.” Instead of the popular marbled beef, his signature steaks use leaner cuts of aged Kuroge wagyu that wins in both umami and tenderness. Offering a choice from the five best cuts prepared for the day, the meat is cooked to perfection using charcoal-grilling techniques he mastered from his mentor in Australia. Exclusive to members and TABLEALL guests, Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse is the best kept secret for true meat lovers.

Opened in 2017, Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse is tucked away on a narrow backstreet in Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome, or Tenroku, in downtown Osaka. Outside its entrance, a monkey statue sits on a barrel with a wine bottle in his hand. Strictly for members and by reservations only, its front door is locked until a staff lets you in. As you step inside, Wajima, his wife and the young, international team offer a lively welcome.

The white and brown interior of the restaurant is warm and classic, with some tables set up inside cozy booths. The photographs on the walls show pictures of Vlado’s, the renowned Australian steakhouse in Melbourne, where Wajima learned the art of charcoal-grilling from the founder, Vlado Gregurek.

An Osaka-native, Wajima’s family had long owned a butcher shop. From an early age, he would spend his time at the store, absorbing everything there was to know about meat. At Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse, the signature steaks are made only from female Kuroge, or Japanese black, wagyu. Not married to a single brand, he looks across top-rated brands including Yamato, Sawai Hime and Omi to choose the best meat based on its condition.

“I'm not a chef, but a meat specialist,” he says. “Rather than marbled beef like A5 rank, I prefer to use leaner cuts. Lean beef is so delicious with a deep flavor and high-quality fat. The more you chew, umami spreads in your mouth.''



Born the son of a butcher

Inheriting long-cherished recipes from Vlado’s, the Classic Set is the only omakase menu that Wajima offers. While the charcoal-grilled steak takes center stage, the other dishes from hors d'oeuvres to homemade sausages add to the delectable experience. His culinary approach is to keep the process simple to maximize the natural flavors of the ingredients.

The colorful plate of hors d'oeuvres comes with a small mimosa salad, homemade prosciutto, mozzarella caprese, marinated salmon and toast. The pumpkin soup is sweet and creamy, served in a bright red cup with the restaurant’s logo. The ingredients of the soup change with the season, like corn, potato and mushroom. The popular cabbage coleslaw is made with a secret dressing.

For the main charcoal-grilled steak, guests can choose their favorite from five different cuts prepared for the day, such as ribeye roll, sirloin, rump, top sirloin cap and tenderloin. The meat is aged on the bone for about a month and cooked over charcoal, adding a rich layer of smoky aroma.

The homemade sausages are made from a secret recipe using pork shoulder arm, minced beef and seasoning. Wajima makes them himself and carefully cooks them over charcoal.

The sweet homemade pie is drizzled with caramel and served with vanilla ice cream. The delicious dessert has fans coming back for more.

Born the son of a butcher, Wajima grew up learning about meat. His signature steaks are made only from female Kuroge cattles that have been fattened for over 36 months. He looks across top varieties of Kuroge wagyu including Yamato, Sawai Hime and Omi to choose the best meat based on its condition. Rather than marbled beef like A5 rank, Wajima prefers to use leaner meat, which is aged on the bone to deepen its flavor.

The restaurant also offers an excellent selection of wine, especially those from Tasmania and South Australia. Penfolds Grange is among the superb vintages they carry. Guests can also bring their own wine for a corkage fee.

Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse cuisine #0
Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse cuisine #1


Katsuya Wajima

Katsuya Wajima was born in 1970 in Osaka, where his parents ran a butcher shop. After he began helping out at the store, he became fixated with the idea of opening a steak restaurant. When he was 24, he left for Australia to train at Vlado’s, a renowned steakhouse in Melbourne. He spent the next year learning from the owner chef Vlado Gregurek, who taught him the art of charcoal-grilling as well as his other top recipes.

Wajima returned to Japan and continued to work at his family butcher. In 2012, he learned about the passing of his Australian mentor and felt the urge to keep his legacy alive. Five years later, he opened his very own Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse, to serve delicious charcoal-grilled steaks using top-quality Kuroge wagyu. “I love the simplicity of steak,” he says. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

As a members-only restaurant, the guests of Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse are usually family friends or friends of friends, Wajima explains. With little advertising or marketing, the number of fans has continued to grow through word of mouth. “It makes me so happy when guests bring their families to enjoy the meal, and at the end of it tell me how delicious it was,” he says.

Young chefs and international students have also come knocking on the door to work at the restaurant. “I’m grateful how we are all connected. As some of our chefs move on, I hope that someday, we can enjoy the taste of Vlado’s in other corners of the world.”


Each cow is unique and has a different potential, says Wajima. It takes a long time to be an expert who can determine the condition, aroma and flavor of the meat. As a meat specialist, he knows at what temperature and how long to cook the meat to make delicious steaks. That is why it’s critical to look at the beef itself, and not choose by the brand. The restaurant prepares five different cuts of steak every day. The charcoal is lit to the ideal temperature for grilling. It’s important not to overcook the meat but give it enough heat to infuse the aroma of the charcoal into it, he explains.


Katsuya steak course menu
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
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Katsuya Charcoal Grill Steakhouse


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Wagyu, Naniwacho
1F, 12-12 Kaneichō, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0031, Japan


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