Food Review: Imafuku Sukiyaki Restaurant Tokyo | Michelin Starred Shabu Shabu & Sukiyaki Dining
The Place I love a good sukiyaki meal and it is one of those meals I look forward to having in Japan. I reserved Imafuku in my recent Japan trip, a One Michelin Star Sukiyaki restaurant in Tokyo. Imafuku is housed in a building close to Shirokane-Takanawa station and spots a contemporary dining setting with regular tables instead of a tatami setting like other traditional sukiyaki restaurants in Tokyo.
The other Sukiyaki restaurant I highly recommend in Tokyo is Ishibashi, a One Michelin Star restaurant which was founded in the early Meiji period.
Strangely, when I look up the Michelin Guide Tokyo again after my trip, it seems like Imafuku has been delisted from the Michelin Guide. Does anyone know what the reason is?
The Food The menu at Imafuku is concise and you can choose to have Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu. I went with sukiyaki since this is what the restaurant is well-known for, where the Sukiyaki set is ¥13,000 per person. Imafuku uses A5 grade Japanese black wagyu beef, and my meal started with some appetisers.
Next up was the main highlight of the meal, the presentation of the 120g Top Sirloin, Vegetable Platter, Rice, Miso Soup and Pickles.
The sirloin spots a beautiful and intense marbling and at Imafuku, the meats are done in two styles by a chef at your table.
I first had it the Kansai-style where the meat is first added with the vegetables, cooked for a while before the sukiyaki sauce is added. The hot pot is first polished with a thick slab of Wagyu beef fat which oils up the pan.
Once the beef is cooked, it is then dipped into the bowl of egg foam with a special sauce in it. As expected, the beef is very flavourful and I really love the egg sauce used here at Imafuku which has a foamy texture.
Most sukiyaki restaurants I came across previously use a regular egg as the dip, but this version at Imafuku has a secret sauce added to give it a foamy texture.
Conversely, the Kanto-style is where the broth is heated first, before the meat and vegetables are added.
Honestly, there is not much difference in flavour for me in terms of either Kanto or Kansai styles. What is consistent is that the beef tastes equally delicious for what I had.
Dessert is a choice of different ice cream flavours and I ended with pumpkin ice cream.
Rants The staff speaks very limited English where communication can be challenging. Our chef who was assigned to cook at our table was quite stoic throughout the course of our meal, with little interaction or engagement. Personally, I do not think language barrier is an excuse for non-engagement as there are other ways of expression. The service can definitely be much better.
Will I Return Again? While the beef is good and I had a good meal, Imafuku is not that memorable for me as the service fell short of my expectations. There are many other sukiyaki restaurants in Tokyo to consider.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
1-12-19 Shirokane, Minato City, Tokyo, 108-0072, Japan
Tel: +81 3-5420-2914
Monday to Friday: 5pm to 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:30am to 3pm; 5pm to 11pm
Ranted by The Ranter