Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Announcing the highlight of the day, the legendary, the almost-unheard of, Olive Wagyu!
Dinner @ Ichigo
http://www.steakhouse-ichigo.jp/index.html English Menu online.
Booked via Tabelog [link] Booked dinner for 8 pm
Free parking available, behind the restaurant
First and foremost, YAYYY!!! Olive Wagyu!
Now that I have calmed down, let’s talk about Olive Wagyu.
Olive Wagyu オーリブ和牛 is a produce of Shodoshima island 小豆島, a short boat ride away from Takamatsu. This island is known for its olives trees, and olive cultivation. The cows reared on Shodoshima are reared on a feed mix of pressed olive pulp, alongside with other grains and grass. Because of the small size of the island, about a few thousand heads of cattle can be raised. It is rare for Olive Wagyu to be exported out of this area, and Japan. If you want to read more on Olive Wagyu, Forbes has a good article on Olive Wagyu [link]
Ichigo is an Olive Wagyu Speciality restaurant, which has been featured on local television several times. My favourite episode, 7min clip, hosted on their website is this one. [click on link to view]
We ordered the Comparison course 本日の黒毛オリーブ牛ステーキ食べ比べ3種180g. The three slabs of meat were shown to us before cooking. From left to right, the hunks of meat were the Kata 肩 (Shoulder), Sirloin サーロイン , and Kuri-Kata niku 栗肩肉 (proximal aspect of the limb). Reasonable price for ¥4750 per pax (What you see here is for 2 pax).
After being grilled over charcoal, this is what we were served. Delicious smoky flavour imparted from the coals into the crust of the meat. From the fatty Sirloin, we could taste that hint of olive, which disappeared as we ate more. The other two cuts were more meaty, especially the Kuri. We were given a hot stone plate to grill our meats, if we wanted to.
This is a short video of our experience in Ichigo. Pardon my lack of expression, though I was screaming inside 'WAHH!'
We had a lovely time there. Apart from the Olive Wagyu order, we were pleased to have our own room. The Rice set ご飯セット came with a bowl of corn soup, and a bowl of rice with beef miso on top. The decadent Nigiri-sushi looking dish is the Wagyu-sushi, topped with Uni 極上炙り寿司生雲丹仕立て. Ridiculously rich. My travel buddy ended up searing the beef.
My, what a fulfilling day! Time for a good rest. Tomorrow is the day we get to Iya Valley!