Kobe Beef Lunch @ Mouriya Honten

One of our last few meals before departing from Japan was Kobe beef at Mouriya Honten. There’s 5 branches of Mouriya all within walking distance of each other. We made online reservations at Mouriya Honten, which is their original restaurant. I highly recommend making a reservation in advance, especially if you want a counter seat where you can watch the chef cook on the grill right in front of you! Don’t worry, there’s English and you can indicate your seating preferences on the online reservation on their website. They also have coupons on their website available from time to time — make sure you take advantage of that! We were able to get 5% off our total bill by printing it out and presenting it at the restaurant.

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Mouriya Honten

Since we had a 1-day Japan Rail (JR) Pass, we took the JR train from Osaka Station and got off at Sannomiya Station. There’s a JR special rapid service train available so try to catch that one if the time lines up with your plans (it’s faster and with fewer stops). It took us just over half an hour to get here from Osaka using this method.

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Mouriya Honten

Dinner is always more expensive so we came here for lunch — it’s significantly cheaper and they have Kobe Beef lunch sets available which are great! These range from ¥4,800-¥15,800 depending on which cut of beef you get. They also have cheaper “special selection” sets but note these are NOT Kobe beef. But if you’re coming all the way here anyways, I would just shell out some extra money to get the true Kobe beef experience. So make sure you get the Kobe Beef Steak Lunch Sets!

We each ordered our own Kobe beef lunch set which includes soup, salad, grilled veggies, a choice of bread or rice, and a beverage.

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Kobe Beef

I opted for one of the most expensive options — the Prime Sirloin (¥14,600) which is A5 grade and you get 170g of it. The others ordered Prime Rib Eye (¥12,500, A5, 180g) and Rump Steak (¥6,000, A5, 120g). When the meat came out in all its glory, we were in awe. Just look at that marbling! The chef was nice enough to take a photo of all of us with the meat as well. I was eagerly awaiting the first bite of this…

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Grilling veggies

The chef cooked the veggies first. There was eggplant, green pepper, and large bamboo shoots. He also explained how to eat the meat with the different seasonings provided. There’s salt, pepper, wasabi, and grilled garlic chips. He told us to first try the meat without any seasonings, then with a just bit of salt, then salt and pepper, then with some salt with wasabi, and so on. This way, you’re able to first taste the natural flavour of the beef then enhance the flavours to your preference.

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Meat on the grill

It was so much fun watching our chef cook. No flashy shows or tricks or anything — just pure focus. He moved so swiftly and used his knife to cut through the meat with such calculated precision. I loved that he separated the fatty parts from the meat and cut them up into small bits, letting them get crispy on the grill. They were like meat cracklings! He also used the fat of the meat as oil to cook the bean sprouts and veggies.

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Cooked Prime Sirloin

Finally, it was time to have my first bite of the meat. Oh my, it was incredible. So tender and rich in flavour, without any added seasoning. I had a bite of the Prime Rib Eye as well and it was bursting with even more flavour. The Rib Eye is a fattier cut of meat, so that makes sense. I thought it was more buttery and more melt-in-your-mouth compared to the Prime Sirloin. However, I still preferred my Sirloin just because you still get so much flavour without it being too, too fatty.

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Cooked Rump Steak

Tried a bit of the Rump Steak as well. It was obviously not as tender as the others because it’s a much leaner cut and there’s not a lot of marbling, nor did it have the same amount of flavour. However, for a budget option, it was still a very good piece of steak.

The whole thing went by so quickly — I wish there was more!!! That was no doubt the best steak I’ve ever had. The cattle raised in Kobe are under strict regulations and are treated with the utmost care. It’s no wonder Kobe beef is on a level of its own. Flavourful, tender, and excellent marbling. These qualities all make Kobe beef a prized delicacy in Japan and all over the world.

If you’ve read my other posts, you may know that I also had Kobe beef at Steakland during my previous trip to Japan in 2016. If you’re looking for a place to eat Kobe beef, I can now say for sure to skip Steakland and go straight for Mouriya Honten. The service and quality are much better here and we just had a more enjoyable experience across the board. The chef and servers were much more attentive here and it was a more intimate experience, contrasting the factory-like production at Steakland. Definitely check this place out and don’t be afraid to splurge! I promise you won’t regret it. 😉


Address: 2-1-17 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Landmarks: across from Tokyu Hands

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Birthday Dinner @ Kishimoto

I’d been wanting to try this Japanese restaurant for a while now so I was really happy when NW surprised me by taking me here for my birthday. 🙂 They don’t accept reservations so you have to be there pretty early or as soon as the restaurant opens (5PM) if you want to get a table right away. We arrived shortly after they had opened, about 30 minutes into the service and managed to take the last table for 2 available. Woot!

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Kishimoto Commercial Drive

I let NW do all the ordering since he had already been here before. Everything was delicious! I was not disappointed by a single dish we ate.

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Smoked Oshi ($5)

The first thing to arrive was the Smoked Oshi ($5), which was a single piece of salmon oshi infused with cherry wood smoke. Quite pricey for just one piece! However, the presentation was beautiful. The sushi was served in a glass cup with a lid on top and the inside was all smoky at first. Then, when you uncover the lid, the smoke dissipates, uncovering the sushi! It was delicious. Even though the smoky flavour was very strong, I could still taste the creaminess of the sushi. Yum!

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Tsukiji Sashimi Platter

Next to arrive was the Tsukiji Sashimi Platter, which was one of their daily specials and not on the regular menu. Apparently the fish is flown in from Tokyo’s very own Tsukiji Fish Market! There were 4 different kinds of sashimi here: Aji (horse mackerel), Hotate (scallop), Chu-toro (blue fin tuna), and some sort of white fish that was lightly grilled. Everything was so yummy and fresh!!! Our favourite was the hotate…

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Hotate Sashimi ($18)

…We loved it so much that we got another separate order of the Hotate Sashimi ($18). These are apparently Hokkaido scallops. They were so fresh and sweet with the perfect texture and chewiness. Comparable to the sashimi I had in Japan. This alone is worth the trip to Kishimoto!

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Agedashi Tofu ($7.50)

The Agedashi Tofu ($7.5) was also good. Soft, silky, and a good amount of saltiness from the sauce. It was served with some grated daikon and ginger on top.

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Salmon Oshi ($15) & Ebi Oshi ($15)

We obviously had to get the oshi sushi so we ordered the Salmon Oshi ($15) as well as the Ebi Oshi ($15). The salmon one was very much like the smoked one I had earlier but with more of the natural, fresh flavours of the fish. The jalapeno on top also gave it a nice kick. It was amazing — as good as Miku’s. The ebi oshi was interesting because it had basil pesto on top, giving it a sort of Italian flair. I enjoyed it as well but I personally prefer the salmon one.

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Karaage ($9.50)

Last but not least, we ordered the Karaage ($9.50). It doesn’t look very appetizing but it was also really yummy. The chicken was perfectly crispy and the batter wasn’t too thick. It was so flavourful from the sweet garlic sauce. I could have this as a snack any day. 😛

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SO PRETTY

The whole dinner was amazing and it definitely brought me back to Japan. You can tell that the restaurant uses fresh, high-quality ingredients. Everything was delicious but the highlights of the meal for me were the scallop sashimi and salmon oshi — those were superb. The smoked oshi was a fun experience too but probably wouldn’t order it again since it’s so expensive (thankfully I didn’t have to pay 😛 ). Definitely do try it once though. 🙂 Perfect birthday dinner! Highly recommend dining here for any occasion, even on a regular day.


Food – 10/10
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 8/10
Value – 7.5/10

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen & Sushi Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rhinofish Noodle Bar

The sisters and I had dinner at this newly opened restaurant before seeing a concert at Rogers Arena. I loved the decor! There were beautiful paintings on the walls and the restaurant had a lot of personality.

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Rhinofish

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Menu

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Yan Su Ji ($8.50)

We ordered the Yan Su Ji – crispy chicken nuggets with parmesan & truffle oil ($8.50) to start. Mmm, they were tasty! The nugs were definitely crispy. I’m personally not a huge fan of parmesan but it was actually good. I think the notes of truffle oil elevated the dish as a whole.

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Liang Mian ($12)

For myself, I ordered the Liang Mian – classic Taiwanese cold noodles ($12) since it was a hot day. It had shredded chicken, carrots, cucumbers, and was dressed in sesame sauce. Out of the noodle bowls we ordered, this one was my favourite. I don’t normally get cold noodles but it was really refreshing. The chicken was tender and the noodles were adequately dressed with the sesame sauce so it wasn’t dry at all at any point 🙂

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Niu Rou Mian ($14.50)

DC got the Niu Rou Mian – Taiwanese beef noodle soups ($14.50). The beef brisket was extremely tender; no complaints here. The broth had very bold flavours but became too salty for my liking after a couple of slurps.

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Hua Diao Ji Mian ($14)

MC ordered the Hua Diao Ji Mian – rice wine chicken noodle soup ($14). It was served with a deliciously runny soft-boiled egg. The soup was more toned down compared to the beef noodle soup — good for sick days.

Price is a bit steep for Taiwanese noodle soup but you do get big portions. Also, the service was very friendly, attentive, and efficient. Would come back to try their other menu items!


Food – 7.5/10
Service – 8/10
Ambience – 8.5/10
Value – 7/10

Rhinofish Noodle Bar  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Petit Saigon

Came here after celebrating NW’s birthday at Playland since it’s close by. Although a hole in the wall, the restaurant was clean and comfortable. Service was great as well — our water was constantly refilled and staff were very friendly.

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I ordered a large Special Beef Noodle Soup Pho ($9.50) and NW got a large Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup Pho ($9.25). It came out piping hot, which was great. We both loved what we got. The noodles were cooked well and the servings were reasonable.

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#15. Special Beef Noodle Soup Pho ($9.50) and #16. Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup Pho ($9.25)

We noticed that the broth tasted different compared to other pho joints. YUM! It was slightly sweet here and less salty. Maybe this is what authentic pho is like! It was delicious without being too oily, nor did we feel the need to drink copious amounts of water after dining here. It was definitely much cleaner tasting and more refined. NW especially loved the grilled chicken in his pho, although he was slightly peeved by the bones of the chicken.

Definitely stop by if you’re in the area. I’m glad I discovered this little gem — it’s now my favourite pho place 🙂 They also accept credit card unlike other places that are cash only so that’s another plus!


Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Ambience – 6.5/10
Value – 8/10

Le Petit Saigon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BiBo Pizza al Taglio

Tried BiBo at Olympic Village for a quick bite before seeing a show. We hadn’t been here before so we were expecting it to be an actual sit-down restaurant but when we arrived, we saw that they just had their pizzas on display and you order at the counter, like other fast food pizza joints. None of their pizzas were labeled so it was a bit difficult to figure out what they were and match them up to the menu written on the board.

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BiBo

What’s interesting about this pizza is that they serve it by the square and cut it in half. I tried the Prosciutto e Funghi ($5) and the Ortolana ($5), which is vegetarian. Both were not bad.

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Proscuitto e Funghi ($5)

The prosciutto was pretty typical but I was more surprised by the Ortolana which had eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers. It tasted better than I thought it would! (I don’t normally order vegetarian dishes).

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Ortolana ($5)

I enjoyed the pizzas, but thought the price was a bit steep considering I wasn’t blown away by what I had. It was decent pizza — no more, no less.


Food – 6/10
Ambience – 7/10
Value – 6/10

BiBo Pizza al Taglio Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato