Omi Beef Dining Iyasaka is located a 5 minute walk from Osaki Station, which is the next station from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo.
Here you’ll find “Omi Beef Dining Iyasaka”, a restaurant hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city, which serves Omi beef.
What is Omi beef?
I am sure almost everyone has heard of Kobe beef, it has gained a wide following and great reputation around the world. However, I think many people may not be familiar with the many different wagyu in Japan which are all equally delicious. Among the most popular and famous wagyu in Japan is “Omi Beef”. It is considered one of the top 3 Wagyu of Japan along with Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef, and has started to garner attention for its great balance of fattiness, umami, texture, aroma and of course, taste.
History of Omi Beef
Omi Beef has a history dating back approximately 400 years, far longer than that of any other wagyu brand and is said to be the oldest beef brand in Japan! It was originally sold and presented to the Tokugawa Shogunate as a sustaining medicine because of the many medicinal properties it was said to possess. Extremely prized and valued, historical records indicate that a Feudal Lord even rewarded Samurai warlords who distinguished themselves in battle with Omi beef.
Entering the Meiji Era in the 1880s, Ōmi beef was actually sold as “Kobe beef”. This was because Omi Beef was shipped to Tokyo via Kobe Port and in those days, it was customary to refer to a brand of beef by the name of the port from which it was shipped. Therefore, Omi Beef was handled as “Kobe Beef” even though it was actually produced in a different region.
Why is Omi Beef so delicious?
Certified Omi Beef cattle are raised in the rich, natural environment of Shiga prefecture, and on the pristine waters that spring from the mountains surrounding the “mother lake”, Lake Biwa. They say that clean, pure water is one of the most important things for producing delicious Japanese sake. It seems that clean water could be a very big factor to producing delicious beef as well. Another reason why Omi beef is so delicious, could be because of the very limit availability of it. Every year a mere 6,000 cattle certified as Omi Beef are shipped. Therefore, the distribution of Omi Beef is limited and it is currently only available at certain fine dining establishments. Unlike mass-produced cattle, Omi Beef is raised with techniques and an insistence on small-volume production, in the same way that a traditional craftsman produces a masterpiece.
A great deal of care and time is spent into raising the cattle for certified Omi Beef, which is certainly linked to its delicate flavor and fine marbling. Its fine tender meat quality, sweet and light fat, and a mellow aroma is distinctive to Omi beef. The meat has a high oleic acid content and is quite tender. Even among wagyu, oleic acid-rich Omi Beef has a low-melting temperature for fat. Not only it is a well-known fact that oleic acid has health and beauty benefits, but it also has a pleasant aroma when lightly broiled and salted, and many people enjoy eating even without salt.
Experience at Omi Beef Dining Iyasaka
It was my first experience trying Omi beef and I was curious as to how it tasted compared to other wagyu I have tried, such as Kobe Beef. I knew that wagyu is delicious meat and I knew this before going to the restaurant which is why I had high expectations for the quality of the meat. To be honest… I was totally blown away! I had no idea that it was so good and what I had been missing out on this whole time. There are many yakiniku restaurants (Japanese barbeque) in Japan, however for those that would like to enjoy fine quality wagyu but still like the experience of yakiniku, I recommend giving Omi Beef Dining Iyasaka a try, and trying authentic high-quality omi wagyu for yourself!
Official Site for Omi Beef Dining