Kobe Steak – Maybe not so Gluten Free (but worth it?)

While traveling I am constantly amazed by the foods that I get to experience. When planning Japan, Kobe steak was at the top of my list of foods that I had to try. I mean, hearing stories of cows that did nothing but drink beer and get massages until the day they died, how could I not want to eat that? However, apart from tasting delicious, Kobe beef is known for something else… being expensive. I was determined to get my meal either way, but having a mixed Scottish and Mennonite heritage I will usually look for a deal. After a bit of searching, I was led to Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511.

Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 is named such because A5 beef is the highest quality and a beef marbling standard of 11 is the greatest the Kobe beef achieves. They serve some seriously good beef. The atmosphere in the restaurant is calm and sophisticated and nicely decorated. This is a nice restaurant with great prices.

What makes Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 especially affordable is their lunch menu. If you go for dinner, meals typically start upwards of ¥17,064 (approximately 170$ Canadian), but if you go at lunch, you can get Kobe steak meals starting at ¥1,350 (approximately13.50$ Canadian). I am sure that the dinner menu provides an amazing meal, but what we ordered was still what I believe might be the best meal I have ever had. My experience with gourmet restaurants has been that I typically leave hungry (maybe because I’ve been too cheap in the past). Lunch at Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 however provided us both with full meals as can be seen in the photo at the top of the page.

We were given a full meal with an assortment of delicious dishes that on their own would convince me to make a return visit. I was served a platter containing miso soup, pickled roots, and stew, but the star was certainly the Kobe beef. Biting into the beef, I discovered my new favorite food. The texture was firm but tender as I bit into it. I never knew beef could taste so good. Even Rachel who is better known for eating her steak with a healthy side of ketchup finally understood how someone could enjoy biting into a steak.



Looking at the photo above, some of you might be thinking, “I thought Rachel was allergic to gluten”. One of the perks to travelling with (and marrying) someone with allergies is that sometimes it means you get to eat two delicious meals. Rachel picked through the parts that were most likely to be safe and I ate the rest. However, to anyone with Gluten or Dairy allergies, be warned that this is the one meal that made Rachel sick on our entire visit. We did not notify staff of Rachel’s allergies so this was entirely our fault. However, we are not certain of Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511s ability to serve meals that are safe for allergies, though the staff here was amazing.

After eating here, I definitely recommend the experience of eating Kobe Beef and Kobe Beef Kaiseki 511 offers this amazing experience at an amazingly low price point. I recommend eating here to anyone who can. Unfortunately, we don’t know if we can recommend eating here with allergies. If anyone has had any experience with allergy friendly dining in this restaurant, please let us know! Rachel says the meal was worth it, but we are fortunate that she does not have to worry about anaphylaxis which if she did may have ruined the experience for us. However, apart from her getting sick, I have nothing but good to say about this restaurant!




Note from Rachel: I am not a huge meat eater (I’m a carb lover at heart) and most of the time I’d choose rice or potatoes over a steak. However, this meal changed my life! Okay, maybe not that extreme, but seriously, it was amazing. As for my allergies, the menu had pictures of each meal so I chose the beef that didn’t come with any sauce (as we all know sauces are often a source of gluten). I am almost 100% certain my beef was gluten free as it was simply a steak with salt and pepper. The side dishes I picked around, giving Ried my croquette, miso soup, etc. As for what made me sick, I have two theories. I had a side dish of some sort of sautéed onions that was delicious but may have had butter on it and I also drank the tea which looking back may have been barley based.

I definitely could have given them my allergy card, but I wanted to eat Kobe steak so bad I didn’t want them to tell me they couldn’t serve me due to my allergies. So I take full responsibility for the need for Imodium the next day. Next time, I would avoid any brown colored teas and stick to green tea to be safe. Probably a rookie mistake, and hopefully I can keep you from making the same one!

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