Tokyo's Famous Ikinari Steak Opens In Manila
Here's everything you can expect when you dine at Ikinari Steakhouse
With over 300 branches all over Japan, Ikinari Steak has become a must-try when you visit the Land of the Rising Sun.
Ikinari Steak, which means “sudden steak” in Japanese, opened its first restaurant in Tokyo in 2013. The name came from the restaurant’s concept of eating steak while standing and serving the steak on its own — no sides, no appetizers, no bells, no whistles — which became a hit for busy salarymen who are trying to fit a steak meal on a workday lunch. It’s a sudden burst of satisfaction at an extremely casual setting, a huge contrast to the usual connotation for steak as a fine dining engagement. Nowadays, Ikinari Steak also offers various side dishes and accompaniments to their steak — from salads to soups to different vegetable sides.
Pepper Food Service, the company behind Ikinari Steak in Japan, has mentioned in a Live Japan interview in 2018 that the company’s goal is to have 1,000 stores in total. Today, they have over 300 stores in Japan and several locations overseas, including New York City, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. On December 18, 2022, Ikinari Steak opened its first Philippine branch at SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Square. They are also currently working on their second branch in Metro Manila located at the newly opened Mitsukoshi Mall in Bonifacio Global City with plans to open it by early 2023.
This Japanese steakhouse is famous for their extremely casual approach to steak and dining. Diners can decide how much steak they can eat (paying per gram) then choose their preferred doneness of the meat (rare, medium rare, medium, or well done).
Every gram and cut of steak at Ikinari is just as tender and flavorful as the ones served in Japan. They import Certified Angus Beef from the US to ensure the highest quality. According to Ikinari Steak Philippines General Manager and Managing Partner Tadeo Chua, the menu in the Philippines is exactly identical to the basic menu in Japan. And just like the branches in Japan highlighting the best of each prefecture, the Philippine location plans to develop signature dishes that will be exclusively available in the country.
Here’s what you can expect when you dine at Ikinari Steak Philippines:
Their signature Wild Steak, a slab of Certified Angus Chuck Eye, is always served rare on a round sizzling plate. Since the plate retains heat well, the Wild Steak will continue cooking. All you have to do is wait a few minutes until it reaches your preferred doneness. The Wild Steak is tender with a beautifully seared crust full of flavor and served with a bowl of rice, steak sauce, and a side of vegetables (corn, broccoli, carrots, and white onions). The name “Wild Steak” came from the “crazy” (or wild) decision to serve chuck eye as a cut of steak because it’s easy to overcook it. That’s why it requires a certain skill to perfect it. Ikinari’s Wild Steak is available in 200 grams (P599), 300 grams (P850), and 450 grams (P1,195).
Like the Wild Steak, the Ikinari Hamburg Steak is also always served rare in a round sizzling plate with vegetables and a serving of rice. Made of ground Angus beef, their version of this famous steak easily became this writer’s favorite. Aside from being ridiculously tender, each bite was a juicy and flavorful marriage of savory flavors — the meatiness of the beef, the subtle tang of salt, and a nice heat from the pepper. The Hamburg Steak is available in 200 grams (P475) and 300 grams (P610).
For those looking to try all the offers from Ikinari, try the Assorted Cut, which consists of 200 grams of premium cuts (striploin, tenderloin, and ribeye) and their signature Wild Steak for just P920. It’s also served with rice, steak sauce, and vegetables.
When you order from their By The Cut menu, you can request your preferred doneness for each cut of beef as well as choose how much steak you can eat (with a minimum of 200 grams per cut). Each order from the By The Cut menu comes with a side of rice. The Angus Beef Ribeye (200g for P1,199/P5.99 per gram) has a nice balance of meat and fat marbling, giving it more flavor in every bite. According to Chua, diners looking for maximum flavor will find deep satisfaction in this cut. The Angus Beef Striploin (200g for P1,199/5.99 per gram) is a beautiful middle ground for those looking for a tender steak with a nice flavor, which makes it Chua’s personal favorite from the menu. Lastly, the Angus Beef Tenderloin (200 grams for P1,345/P6.73 per gram) — the “most premium cut” from Ikinari’s selection — will easily yield like butter to a hot knife. Aside from its rich taste, its juicy and tender texture makes it the best bang for your buck, says Chua.
Diners can also enjoy Ikinari’s Lunch Sets: the Wild Combo (P777), which has 150 grams of Wild Steak and 150 grams of Hamburg with a bowl of rice; and the Diced Cut set, which contains 200 grams (P566) or 300 grams (P780) of chuck eye steak. For an additional P100, your lunch set will come with a serving of beef soup (a cup of beef broth that may look unassuming but packed with flavor), a simple salad of lettuce, purple cabbage, and carrots with creamy sesame dressing (Goma), and your choice of soda.
Additional servings of Japanese White Rice (P60), Beef Soup (P60), Salad (P60), White Pepper Paste/Margarine (P30), and Garlic Chips (P30) are also available. If, like this writer, you love sauces, you can also order an additional serving of their Sweet-Savory Onion Sauce (P60) and Steak Sauce (P60). Each table also comes with their complimentary Sweet Sauce, Spic Sauce, Wasabi (which goes great with their sweet sauce) and Garlic Paste (which gives each bite a little bit of savory heat without overpowering the flavor of the steak).
To wash down all that steak, diners can choose from alcoholic drinks, like Sapporo Premium Draft Beer, Ikinari Beer (served ice cold and goes down smoothly), Ikinari Yuzu Chuhai (a combination of Japanese shochu and carbonated drink), and a selection of wines; or non-alcoholic beverages, like Cold Brew Coffee, Ikinari Yuzu Soda, or Ikinari Matcha Latte made with ceremonial grade green tea.
So is it worth the trip to MOA Square? Absolutely! It’s not just a great deal, it’s a delicious experience. This is also a great place to start your steak journey because of its relaxed environment where you can freely choose your preferred steak doneness without the intimidating feeling some steakhouses tend to have. So whether you want it rare or well done, you can enjoy your steak just the way you like it at Ikinari Steak.
Ikinari Steak | Instagram: @ikinariph | Facebook: @ikinariph | Address: G/F SM Mall of Asia Square, Pasay City | Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.