Everywhere you go in Takayama there is the delicious smell of grilled beef. This is not surprising as it is the home of Japan’s Hida Beef.
“Hida-gyu” (Hida Beef) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, that has been raised in Gifu Prefecture for at least 14 months. Hida-gyu is required to have been confirmed and certified as Yield Score of Grade A or B by the Hida Beef Brand Promotion Conference, and have a Firmness and Texture Grade of 5, 4 or 3 as graded by the Japan Meat Grading Association. (http://www.hida.jp)
After tasting some beef on a skewer this afternoon, we had to try it for real. We found this amazing restaurant that rates 6 in the whole of Takayama on TripAdvisor. The restaurant is called Maruaki.
The idea is you chose your meat and then grill it on the hot plate in front of you (similar to Korean BBQ, but with much better quality meat).
We choose a mixed plate of meat and vegetables, a bowl of bibimbap type rice and beef cooked on a magnolia leaf. The rice dish and the magnolia leaf came on their own separate burners while we were required to cook the beef and vegetable plate ourselves.
The meat is absolutely beautiful with the really nice marbeling and gorgeous red colour.
We grilled the meat with a sprinkling of salt.
Everyone describes the meat as melt-in-the-mouth and truly there is no better description. It cut like butter and just seemed to dissolve on your tongue.
We decided we had not had enough beef between these three dishes so after they were gone we ordered another plate of lean, Hida beef.
We were rather sad when the meal was finished but so glad we had opted for this tonight, also nicely enough the bill wasn’t as crazy as we had anticipated!
If you find yourself in Takayama or Hida beef country, this restaurant is definitely recommeded.