Gyutan in SendaiMay 8th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Food
On a recent trip to Sendai, located in Miyagi Prefecture in the Tohoku Region of Japan, I was told that the regional specialty that I had to try was gyutan. Sometimes I think it’s better not to know too much about what you are eating beforehand and this is one of those cases. When I asked what gyutan was I was told it was beef tongue. For a girl can very easily pass by beef of any kind and has never eaten a McDonald’s hamburger in her life, voluntarily eating beef tongue was a bit of a stretch to say the least!
On our first night in Sendai I took on the culinary challenge of gyutan at Date No Gyutan with my husband and one of his colleagues. The restaurant has a modern feel with prompt and friendly service despite the crowds waiting to dine during the holiday rush that is Golden Week.
The gyutan is grilled on the premises in an open kitchen which sent the aroma of grilling meat wafting throughout the restaurant, tantalizing the diners as they patiently waiting to be seated.
The menu offered a choice of either salt or miso gyutan and combination plates with either thin or thick slices. My husband, a meat lover, ordered the thick slices (pictured on the left) at the suggestion or our hotel concierge and I opted for the thinner slices (pictured on the right). Accompanying our selection was a pickled salad of cabbage with carrots and cucumber that had a peppery flavor, miso vegetables, gyutan broth and as much rice as you could eat. After sampling both, we agreed that the thin sliced Gyutan with miso flavor was the clear winner.
While in Sendai we stayed at the Metropolitan Hotel Sendai which is conveniently located next to Sendai Station and a short walk to Date No Gyutan . The restaurant is open daily from 11AM until 10PM and offers an English menu.
At first glance Date no Gyutan may appear to a store rather than a restaurant as there are display cases of gyutan in the front with staff selling packages of this Sendai culinary treat but don’t be dismayed, the entrance to the restaurant itself is to the left of the display cases.
Click on the open red circles on Date No Gyutan access map (in Japanese) to see images of the four restaurants located within walking distance of Sendai Station (shaded orange on the map).
If you are in Sendai be sure to try gyutan and look for other regional foods from the Tohoku and Kanto Regions when you visit.
Image Credit: Personal Collection