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Mayfair’s Wagyu Grifters Watch Their Backs as the Real Deal Arrives From Tokyo

Aragawa, which opened in Kobe in 1956 but is now most famous for its Tokyo steakhouse, has a laser-like focus on premium beef

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Kobe tajima beef sirloin, broiled on skewers over charcoal at Aragawa in Tokyo.
Kobe tajima beef sirloin, broiled on skewers over charcoal at Aragawa in Tokyo.
Aragawa

A Tokyo steakhouse will turn up the heat on any would-be Mayfair wagyu grifters by bringing genuine Kobe beef to London this May. Aragawa, first founded in Kobe in 1956, is renowned for its Tajima beef, reared in the Hyogo prefecture of which Kobe is the capital, and will open at 38 Clarges Street this May, according to the Telegraph.

Its menu is aptly concise, centred around the beef, seasoned with salt and pepper; grilled over binchotan charcoal; and served with mustard. A rotating cast of similarly effortless starters and sides, focussed on money ingredients like abalone, scallops, and sea urchin, changes monthly. But it’s the unadorned location, down a “dark hallway” in a Tokyo office, that could make Aragawa such a striking arrival in an area where glamour is literally expected to be part of the furniture.

Jiro Yamada founded the Kobe restaurant, with the Tokyo site run by his son, Mitsuya Yamada; Jiro died in 2011.

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