Yes. I don't even know whether I have had Kobe beef or not.
I went to Kobe last month with friends. My friends have a smaller food budget, so we went to A-1 steakhouse because of another friend's recommendation.
Their menu is simple enough they are serve two kinds of steaks We choose the more expensive one which is about $70 USD per person (180g). At the end of meal, I wasn't quite sure whether we had Kobe beef or not. For the following 3 reasons
1. too cheap? I expect kobe beef to be super expensive. We passed by another place while walking toward A-1, the steak there (180g) starts from $100+ USD per person
2. menu didn't indicate its kobe beef. I don't understand Japanese, but I can read Kanji (Chinese characters on the menu). Nowhere it says the steak is kobe beef. It only says it's Wagyu (Japanese beef). (whereas the fancy one we passed by did say "kobe" beef)
3. i was underwhelmed..... the steak we had at A-1 tasted good, but it didn't blow my mind.
Regarding point #2, I tried to read up online about the difference between Kobe and Wagyu, I think beef in Japan has many grades, A5 being the top, and to be 'real kobe beef' it has to be above A4/A5 (please correct me if i am wrong.. . i am happy to learn). does the name A-1 steakhouse mean that they serve A1 grade of steak (which is the equivalent of most USDA prime steak)?
(reading from this site: http://www.nikuya.ca/products/japanes...)
Can someone who understand Japanese beef grade or can read Japanese check out A-1 homepage for me? http://www.kobe-a-1.com/menu.html
I want to find out if I have had Kobe beef, if I haven't, then there is one more reason why I should visit Japan again! (or that I can continue my search for real kobe beef)
Thanks a lot!