Your trip to the most expensive restaurant in the world may not be as grand as you expect it to be. Somehow, we have this notion that anything that comes with an exorbitant price tag has to be equally ostentatious and ooh-la-la! Aragawa restaurant, Japan’s first steakhouse located in Tokyo’s Shinbasi district, disproves exactly this notion.
Believe it or not, Aragawa is not just one of Japan’s high end restaurants; it is the most expensive restaurant in the world. Reservations to this restaurant are extremely hard to come by and if you are among the lucky few who do manage to get in, make sure you are loaded with cash or your credit card has enough limit on it, since meal tabs start at $368 per head.
The restaurant itself is located in an office basement and the hallway is dark enough to give you the nerves. However, when you step into Aragawa, you are more relaxed and at ease since the décor, though not overly luxurious, is homey and inviting. The red and gold low ceilinged restaurant has an authentic European touch about it, which is visible in the chandelier and dark wood panels. There is no music playing in here except for the tinkle of silver against the chinaware, the sophisticating and well mannered sound of meat being chewed, and the occasional sighs of contentment and satisfaction.
So, what’s their secret? Wagyu beef. You would probably know it as Kobe beef which has been described in superlative terms by those who’ve had the good fortune of eating it. Try buying it in the market and you may have to cough up to $800 a pound owing to its restricted supply. Aragawa has its own farm where they breed Wagyu cows that are, if rumors are to be believed, hand fed and massaged to ensure the highest quality of meat.
You can choose Kobe beef from the premium and super premium categories that are available in 12, 16, and 20 ounces. The fresh Kobe beef is then broiled in a charcoal fired brick oven and served with plain pepper and mustard. Instead of the customary wine, the beef is accompanied by salads and appetizers. Hardly any effort is taken in fanciful presentation or decorating the food with beautifully carved radish. Once again, the restaurant depends solely on the quality of the food to impress its patrons over all the razzmatazz. And, boy does it impress you! You won’t mind breaking your bank ten times over for the sinful taste of the steak served at Aragawa. No other restaurant in the world comes close to this taste.