The southwest side of Saiin Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line is an area that retains a bit of a downtown atmosphere, with narrow alleys lined with popular pubs and retro okonomiyaki restaurants where manual laborers can grab a beer. There are a number of interesting stores in this area, but today we will go a little deeper than that. The area beyond the drinking district is becoming a must-visit place for meat lovers these days…
Shokudo Nikuzaemon｜A meat specialty restaurant in Saiin, Kyoto, serving huge steak bowls diagonally across from a rival restaurant
In the area we visited this time, two restaurants specializing in steak donburi are competing with each other diagonally across the street from each other. One of them is “Hyakushokuya“, which has recently been getting a lot of exposure on TV and in magazines. The other is “Shokudo Nikuzaemon,” which I will introduce here.
The interior of Nikuzaemon has a clean, café-like interior with a green layout with decorative foliage plants in places. Most of the seats are at the counter, so you won’t feel uncomfortable even if you come alone.
NIKUZAEMON’s two main menu items: Tonteki or Steak as a base, with curry, rice bowls, more rice, and other arrangements to your liking.
Beef steak and pork steak are the two main items on the menu at NIKUZAEMON. First, decide whether you want beef or pork…then add curry, a bowl of rice, more rice or meat, or any other arrangement you like.
Examples of Nikuzaemon’s menu (all prices include tax)
- Ore no Curry (without meat) 700 yen
- Specialty Tonteki Curry 1000 yen (200g) / 1300 yen (400g)
- Blissful Tonteki 1000 yen (200g) / 1300 yen (400g)
- Supreme Tontaru: 1000 yen (200g) / 1300 yen (400g)
- Ore no Steak Donburi 1200yen (200g) / 1800yen (400g)
- Legendary Steak Curry 1200yen
- The best beefsteak 1400yen(200g) / 2000yen(400g)
You can choose from small (150g), medium (200g) and large (300g) portions of rice, and the prices are the same. Incidentally, curry and steak donburi are also available for take-out, which is helpful during busy lunchtime hours.
Ore no Steak-don: Beef is packed in even where you can’t see it! One bowl of this will surely give you a sense of satisfaction!
This time, I ordered the “Ore no Steak Don 400g (large rice bowl)” from the “Dekadori” menu. After placing the order, it took about 5 minutes. The “Ore no Steak Donburi” 400g (large rice bowl) arrived in front of me.
Steak meat covering the entire bowl, topped with fried onions, chopped nori, green onions, fried garlic, wasabi… This comes with soup and oshinko.
It is hard to see the volume in the photo from above, so I will show you an image from the side as well…
Steak meat is piled up from the height of the rim of the bowl. In fact, the beef is not only piled upward, but is also piled underneath…
It is natural, since the rice is 300 grams for 400 grams of steak meat, but since more than half of this bowl is meat, on the contrary, it is difficult to reach the rice without consuming some of the meat. No matter how much you eat, more and more meat comes out from the bottom of the bowl, and such a situation is nothing but heaven for meat lovers.
Although the meat is not of the highest quality, it is very easy to eat because it is cooked rare, tender, and free of sinews. As you continue to eat your way through the meat, you will come across the rice underneath the steak, which absorbs the juices from the meat and the special steak sauce, giving it a flavor different from that of the beef.
At 1,800 yen, this is definitely a very satisfying menu item when you want to eat a hearty portion of meat.
Blissful Tonteki: The thick pork is heavy and satisfying! The charred edges are aromatic and appetizing.
In addition to steaks, Nikuzaemon also has another signature dish on its menu. The tonteki, named “Blissful Tonteki,” can be ordered in 200-gram increments, and can also be taken home.
On my second visit, I ordered the Blissful Tonteki (400 grams of meat, rice, soup, and salad for 1,300 yen). This dish is served hot on an iron plate, as shown below…
It is a double layer of thick pork chops that are perhaps a centimeter thick, giving the dish a heavy feel. It is topped with steak sauce and fried garlic.
As you can see, the pork is not heated all the way through. It is in the state of medium rare in steak. Therefore, the texture remains elastic and has both a good resistance and tenderness.
What was a bit surprising was that the meat was slightly charred, and the aroma of that charring went from my mouth to my nose. It’s not just charred, it’s a fragrant burn. This is a nice bonus. To be honest, I thought it would be a “just eat it, don’t ask me what it is! I was expecting this to be a “just eat it, don’t say a word!” kind of gutsy menu item, but it was a surprise that overturned my expectations in a good way.
The thick steak sauce also made the rice go down fast. To be honest, a bowl of rice is not enough at all. I wish there was a free rice refill service… I can assure you that you will want to eat as much as you did when you were a student.
Hyakushokuya closes soon, but this one is open until night! Shokudo Nekizaemon is a 5-minute walk from Saiin Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line (Keifuku Electric Railway)
Now, let me introduce the restaurant…
Address: 46-2 Saiin Kitayakake-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Phone number: 075-315-6699
Business hours: 11:00-14:30 LO, 17:00-20:30 LO
Closed: No holidays
Parking: No parking (use coin parking nearby)
P.S. Nearby the Shokudo Nikuzaemon, there is also a popular ramen restaurant…