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Eating out / Yamanashi steak house serves premium beef at modest prices

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The sirloin B Course dinner set priced at ¥5,500

By Seidai Fujihara / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterSome of the paths beside Katsura River in Yamanashi Prefecture are lit up at night, meaning customers at Oshino steak house En-Shin-Tei can taste authentic teppanyaki cuisine while enjoying the scenery from their tables at the restaurant, which is located by the river. The restaurant opened on Aug. 21 last year in Oshino, a village in the prefecture.

Restaurateur Toru Tomizawa ran a restaurant in Tokyo before becoming a restaurant consultant.

“Initially, I didn’t consider having my own restaurant again,” he said. However, he changed his mind after one of his acquaintances showed him some land in the village.

“I saw Mt. Fuji and the Katsura River and became entranced by the natural beauty in the area. It made me want to run a restaurant again.”

Tomizawa’s business motto is to “offer high-quality meat at reasonable prices.” His restaurant serves Hitachigyu and Sagagyu beef, which are both ranked highly by a domestic industry association.

Despite the high-quality ingredients used at the restaurant, Tomizawa said he keeps the prices low by directly purchasing meat from wholesalers.

Courses served at the restaurant are priced between ¥4,500 and ¥7,500.

“If people were to have the same grade of meals in Tokyo, it would cost from ¥10,000 to ¥20,000,” he said. “I’m confident in the quality of our meals and how reasonable our prices are.”

The choice of cooking equipment was also carefully considered: Griddles used to cook the meat are thicker than those used in similar restaurants because the rate of heat transfer is higher, meaning the heat reaches the inside of the meat faster. This ensures the flavor is not lost.

Tomizawa carefully selected the rice and sake served in his restaurant, opting mainly for locally produced products.

Rice served in the restaurant is the Mukawa-mai brand produced in the Mukawa areas in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture.

The restaurant’s wide lineup of alcoholic beverages include Koshu wines and locally brewed sake produced in Fujikawaguchiko, a town in the prefecture.

Though the restaurant was opened only months ago, it is already frequented by repeat diners.

“The combination of the beautiful scenery here and the delicious steaks are great for special occasions, such as birthdays,” Tomizawa said. “After coming to my restaurant, I’m sure many will come back.”

En-Shin-Tei

Open: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. (Last order is 30 minutes before closing time)

Closed: Wednesdays. (The restaurant can be rented out for private events)

Address: 2834-3 Shibokusa, Oshino, Yamanashi Prefecture

Phone: (0555) 73-8933

Credit cards are accepted.

No English menu available

To find out more about Japan’s attractions, visit http://the-japan-news.com/news/d&d

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